Thursday, December 07, 2006

Curried Carrot Socca

Curried Carrot Socca
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
First off, time for an explanation. Grad school is a lot of work. So much so, in fact, that I have not had time to cook, never mind take pictures of my food, never mind write about it. I have decided, however, that the busiest time of the quarter (finals) is a great time to start again. So here it is...

A socca is a chickpea flour-based food originating from Provence. I first had one at Gregoire's second restaurant, Socca Oven (unfortunately now closed), in Berkeley, CA. Molly, Antonia and I each had a socca, and from that first taste, I decided that I would try to develop my socca-making skills. I started off making crepe-like pancakes in a crepe pan. They were very good, but not the same as Gregoire made them. Here is my first success with the thicker, heavenly socca.

Curried Carrot Socca
1 c. chickpea flour
1 c. warm water
2 tbs. olive oil, plus extra for the pan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 large or 3 small carrots, diced. (I got mine from the Davis Farmer's Market and they were the best carrots I have ever tasted. The texture was not fibrous like supermarket carrots... but I digress...)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp curry powder

Heat oven to 450ºF and put a cast iron skillet in to heat up.
Add chickpea flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Whisk in the water. Whisk in the oil. Let sit out for 20 minutes to hydrate.
In the mean time, heat a little bit of olive oil in a med-high skillet. Cook garlic for a few seconds, then add the onions and the carrots. Sweat for a minute while constantly stirring to avoid burning garlic, then turn down heat to medium. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper. Continue to sweat for another minute, then turn of heat, stir for a minute, then remove from the heat.

Once the batter has sat for 20-30 minutes, add the onion mixture and stir. Pull the cast iron pan out of the oven. Add a little bit of oil (2 tsp) to coat the bottom of the skillet entirely. Pour in the batter and replace the skillet in the oven. Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes. When the socca has set, move the skillet to the top of the oven and set the oven to broil for 2 minutes, until it starts to get a little bit brown.

The socca should come out of the pan pretty easily. I had to invert it onto a plate, then invert it back onto a second plate, but it stayed intact.

Good luck on your socca adventures and let me know how it goes for you, or if you have had the chance to have a socca previously.


oso said...

I still need to check out Gregoire's.

Is it pronounced socka o soaka?

Of course, I would prefer sucka, but no one ever wants to accomadate my desires.

Greg said...

I pronounce it soak-a. I do have a feeling that if you were in Nice and asked for a sucka, you may get what you are looking for and as a bonus have a little, internal laugh. And definately go see Gregoire - he now has a second restaurant on 40th Street in Oakland. Tell him that I say hello if you see him.