Flipping Good Pancakes (Kyle Books, 2018) by Sudi Pigott takes inspiration from countries all over the world to create her dynamic pancakes perfect for any meal. Readers can enjoy creating recipes from more than 25 different countries perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, and even dessert. Pigott encourages adventuring into new territory with pancakes by preparing and eating them throughout the week and venturing beyond your typical pancakes with sugar and syrup and trying traditional recipes from countries like Japan, Sri Lankan and many more.
Socca, made with chickpea flour, olive oil, and water, is so simple, and so redolent of sunny Nice and the French Riviera. I especially like it with homemade anchoïade and crème fraîche, although pistou or tapenade are great accompaniments too. I first tried it in Nice's Cours Saleya market — the socca is transported there from a bakery deep in the Old Town on the back of a bicycle, and it smells so enticing. Chez Pipo on the edge of Nice Old Town, however, is the real deal. Here the socca is cooked over a mightily impressive wood fire and has a satisfyingly deep, earthy, smoky tang. I am impressed, however, by just how good socca made in a frying pan tastes, especially with the addition of a generous teaspoon of cumin, which adds toasty notes that hint at a wood fire. Folding in two egg whites makes for a lighter socca, although it is not essential and definitely not how the Niçoise make it.
In Nice market, socca is served cut into triangles and sprinkled with sea salt. I find it makes a rather good appetizer or party snack. It is extra-good with a special seaweed salt, or even a truffle salt.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2-3/4 cups chickpea flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a good grinding of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups tepid water
- 2 large egg whites
FOR THE ANCHOÏADE
- 3-1/2-ounce jar of anchovies, drained
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- a good handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
To make the anchoïde, put the anchovies, garlic, and parsley in a food processor and pulse-blend, adding the olive oil gradually until it becomes a rough, thick paste. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then brush them lightly with olive oil. Put the chickpea flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt, pepper, and cumin. Gradually pour in the water, whisking with an electric hand mixer as you go. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of heavy cream. Put the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until just stiff. Gently incorporate the egg whites into the socca mixture using a metal spoon. Don't be tempted to use a whisk. Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or even prepare it first thing in the morning so it is ready for the evening.
Place a nonstick frying pan over high heat for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium–high. Using a heatproof pastry brush, brush the pan with olive oil. Pour a ladleful of batter into the pan; the socca should be about 1/4-inch thick. Cook for 2 minutes or until tiny bubbles start to form on the surface. Flip over and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly golden, a little crisp, and lacy. Transfer to the warmed baking sheets while you repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Serve with bowls of anchoïade and crème fraîche for diners to dollop onto their socca. Accompany with a crisp salad and a well-chilled glass of rosé for instant transportation to Nice.
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Reprinted with permission from Flipping Good Pancakes by Sudi Pigott and published by Kyle Books, 2017.