Socca from Vieux Nice

French Fridays with Dorie – Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca from Vieux Nice

I get irritated when my blissful ignorance of “#trending” what-nots gets interrupted by sudden awareness. I get uncomfortable learning that I am the last to know about the “party”. I then must wonder what else I am the last to know know about while also simultaneously considering whether it might just as well be better to not know. Is ignorance bliss in certain circumstances? Depending on the party, I sometimes prefer it to the angst of wondering why I wasn’t invited in the first place.

Besides, who has the time to take up new communal obsessions anyways? Every new adoption for the sake of inclusion means that something else must get neglected and suffer for it. My general policy is to “just say no” but then there is that nagging feeling of non-inclusion I know I must deal with and traditionally that has not been my strong suit.

As an example, recently it seemed as if I was the only person in the world who who had so far managed to have never heard of “Game of Thrones”. Then one certain episode came along and had everyone here at work crowing and tittering, and even “oh my god”-ing in every hallway all the while shaking their heads in some sort of knowing agreement with each other. Their appreciation for what they just seen was the secret handshake entitling them to entry into a club I was not only not a member of but one I had never heard of. Why had I not been asked to join? Where was I when membership was considered? My work mates had now shared something special together and were forever bonded by it.

It would take the binge-watching of three entire seasons to join this club, something I clearly don’t have the time for but I oh so want to belong I must find a way to make it happen. I wished I never heard of it!

Socca from Vieux Nice

Among this week’s other #trending discoveries I previously knew nothing about (in addition to my cousin’s wedding just a few days ago and only 10 minutes away) is the dish featured here: socca. Socca is a thin, unleavened flat pancake type bread made from chickpea flour. Evidently it is quite ubiquitous along the Mediterranean coast from Vieux Nice (where Dorie derives this version’s title to Pisa. It is eaten mostly as a street food type snack but it is also perfect for tearing off a piece to eat while you sip an afternoon glass of wine.

Everyone I have been asking the last few days already seems to know quite a bit about it. Why didn’t I?

Its surprising to me since I have been to the region many, many times over the years and can’t explain how this whole socca thing has passed me by unnoticed. Given how much I am being told about it from everyone here my ignorance seems akin to spending a week in Rome and then only finding out years later it is a Catholic Country.  There has been a whole socca party going on in Nice but nobody thought enough to invite me or tell me about it.

I wonder if my cousin knew about this as well?

Socca from Vieux Nice My socca cherry got popped just two weeks by Trix over at TastyTrix.com when she posted her beautifully photographed Socca Pizza with Arugula Pea Pesto, Yellow Tomatoes and Ricotta. Yes, she was gentle and her socca looked quite appealin

g seductively laid out to entice but I had never even heard of it before! A quick wiki-search to get the down and dirty brought me up to speed and then suddenly, everywhere I turned ,I saw socca  referenced. It was very, very weird.  (The experience was a lot like when you someone close to your life is pregnant and then suddenly everywhere you turn you see pregnant women. Where were they all just last week?)

There it was on the menu of my favorite new hot restaurant, socca suddenly appeared not once but twice in one day on the rss feed of my favorite culinary web-site, and there again I was confronted with it on Instagram. That night socca was even referenced on a PBS travel show I only watch when I don’t have to catch up on another obsession of mine, True Blood.

Imagine my surprise yesterday to had look up this week’s French Friday with Dorie assignment and saw it yet again!  Socca! My surprise felt a lot like it would to go online and see your cousin’s wedding photos taken just one day previously.

We aren’t entitled to k

now everything in this world. However, the universe will often conspire to reveal to you those certain things you either somehow stupidly missed or were otherwise deprived of.  For me, socca is one of those things and I intend to binge eat them for awhile as I plow through three seasons of Game of Thrones and pick out some nice gift from my cousin’s Williams Sonoma bridal registry to buy for ME.

And while I am enjoying making socca here at home I also know that someday I will be going back to Nice and give them grief for not insisting I get invited to this socca party they have been throwing there all these years.

Can you pass the pepper?

Socca from Vieux Nice

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 2 rounds

Serving Size: 1/2 round

Socca from Vieux Nice

Adapted from here and Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table"

This is what you will need:

  • 1 cup chickpea or garbanzo flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil. An infused olive oil is nice here as well.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped chives or fresh rosemary (or both)?
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

This is how you make it:

  1. Heat a hot oven to 500 degrees and put either two 8 inch round cake pans or one large 12 inch non stick pizza pan in the oven to preheat them. (A well seasoned cast iron pan will work well too but you will be making them one at a time if you do this.)
  2. Combine the chick pea flour, water, olive oil, and salt in a bowl and and whisk until all the lumps are out of it and the mixture resembles a nice cream. Cover the batter and let stand for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. (Let batter come down to room temperature before cooking if you kept it standing overnight.)
  3. When ready to cook, remove pans from oven and put two tablespoons of olive oil in each pan, swirl to coat the bottoms evenly, and then return pans to oven to heat the oil for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pans to your stove top or counter and our in one half the batter to each pan if using cake pans or pour out two pancakes onto the single pan and bake for 5-10 minutes until the pancake is set and the edges are firm. Dorie’s recipe calls for 5 minutes but I found that my socca needed closer to 8 before setting nicely.
  5. Turn on the broiler and run the socca under it for 3-5 minutes so the socca can brown up to your preferences. If your socca looks dry you can lightly brush the top with olive oil before putting under the broiler.
  6. Serve hot with pepper or any topping you wish. Here we tried it with a white bean hummus flavored with black olive tapenade.
http://www.sisboomblog.com/2013/06/socca-from-vieux-nice-french-fridays-with-dorie/

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. I was hanging out in France last summer and still hadn’t heard of socca. And I didn’t know about your cousin’s wedding either 😉 Love that you added a dollop of hummus…a chick pea extravaganza!

  2. It is a bit of a joke in our family that even my brother who lives 500+ miles away knows more about what is going on locally than I do (of course, he has a direct line to my sister who knows more about every body’s business than any one person ought to…Ever.). I have never seen Game of Thrones and I still have no idea what a Cronut is – but apparently souls are being bought and sold over them.

    Sigh.

  3. I am glad socca was revealed to you over last few weeks. It sounds like the universe was leading up to when you got to partake! I have never seen game of thrones either.

  4. It’s true. There are certain things I’d never heard of that then pop up everywhere you turn. I’d never heard of Socca til I too saw Trix’ site. Now I turn here and it pops up again. I bet there will be something about it in the paper this week. GREG

  5. I´ve been to Nice at least three times and never crossed a piece of socca there either. But it´s so common here it´s almost boring, and very outdated by now. But I love it.
    I´m with you with the game of thrones issue, and was thinking the same thing a few weeks ago. I should probably watch it too. This post made me laugh Trevor! And about your cousin…

  6. Isn’t it strange how suddenly something is everywhere. Now this is. Call it socca or call it farinata, it’s darn good. I’m so glad you’ve been turned on to this! Yours looks fab.

  7. I always try to be gentle whenever it’s the first time, and I am glad you found the loss of your socca virginity to be so – dare I say? – enjoyable. It seems you are making up for lost time here, and are well on your way to becoming a first-class socca slut! Welcome to the club. I am so proud.

  8. I can see we were on the same no-invitation list so I think we should have our own party. It looks to have a little more flavor than naan, no? Your cousin’s loss in more ways than one. No one is more capable than you to shower her with Williams-Sonoma love. I love your method of revenge and the choice of vino. You continue to delight with your prose and photographic skills with every post.

  9. Trevor, I had never heard of Socca before this week either! And until reading your post I had never heard of “Game of Thrones”. Great presentation! It looks delicious. Funny post as always! Have a great weekend!

  10. Enjoyed your post today. And so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who hasn’t been invited to the Game of Thrones party.

  11. I guess you’ve had it “socca to yah” I’ve been all over Italy and southern France and I don’t remember it… but like I said in my post eating wasn’t in our budget at the time I visited. I don’t watch the Game of Thrones, my husband is really into it but I think everyone is just into the sex and violence… it just sounds like a ancient soap opera to me.

  12. I’ll take a glass of that Same Sex Meritage! Cheers! 🙂

  13. I had heard of Game of Thrones, even before it aired in Australia, because the gals at Lippsisters (the Mad Men blog) wrote about it in off season. However, I was not and am not convinced that I want to see it, and I will have to remain excluded from that club (it’s huge here too). Your socca with a glass of red looks terrific. It’s a marvellous discovery, don’t you think?

  14. Even though you are a socca virgin, you obviously know how to enjoy it to the fullest!

  15. Yours looks great ! So think and crispy. Mine, not so much. But guess when I get back from France I will be making this again – since, like you, I now have SO MUCH chickpea flour!

  16. I’m a litte behind and haven’t made this one yet. Can’t wait because yours looks delicious.

  17. For better or worse, among my friends and family, I’m known to be pop culture-challenged, so I didn’t know about Game of Thrones either. I’m not usually food-challenged but socca was new to me too. Loved the crispiness. I served mine with tapenade and goat cheese. Hummus sounds great too.

  18. Trevor, what a fun read and what fabulous photography as well – I for my part have heard of (and watched) Game of Thrones but had never heard of or made Socca either, but then, I have never been to Nice either – for this recipe, I tried two different chickpea flours with different results – I really like that you topped it with some nice hummus and served this with a lovely bottle of the intriguing looking wine.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  19. Socca new to me, too. But that didn’t surprise me. It was good.

  20. Trevor – I thought I commented on your Socca-gram already but I think I had my say on Facebook. I didn’t get Socca made this week but will return to it sometime. I have been to Nice – it was near the Institut de Francais where I unsuccessfully attended an Immersion Program to learn to speak French. I wasn’t too crazy about Socca (to be truthful, I never even tried). I think that was My Bad. Many of you liked it very much. Good Post

  21. I never knew about socca either and I certainly didn’t know about your cousin’s wedding. Congrats to your cousin! I liked the socca and can see several uses for it.

  22. Wait, what’s Game of Thrones again?
    (HEART those photos!)

  23. I only got to know socca because I was looking all over the internet to find a gluten free alternative to tortillas and pancakes… before that I had no idea there was such a thing as chickpea flour. Ignorance is bliss, I agree, but learning about socca has definitely made my life easier when it comes to gluten free snacks!

    • Maria, I, too, stumbled upon the use of chickpea flour when looking for gluten-free alternative. I also wanted to be more creative in what I can eat instead of feeling trap with all the gluten food surrounded me. I first found out that you can make omelet by using chickpea flour which I was so thrill about this news since I’m vegan as well. Now, I’m attempting to find many more ways to use chickpea flour.

      Trevor, I, too, tended to be the last person to know in my family. How annoying and frustrating at some time which I eventually learned to deal with it…but I guarantee you it was never easy. Hahaha, I tried not to be too quick to anger when I find out I’m the last person to know and I’ll be reminding people that they didn’t tell me…Please tell me you guys I’m right here!
      By the way, thanks for the recipes for I’m so grateful that I have found this recipes that I would like to try someday.

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