Green Plum Cooking School – Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Socca recipe, by Jackie Burdisso
125 g chickpea flour (grams, really, I can barely do American math; it’s 4.5oz)
1 ¼ cups water
3 tbls olive oil
salt & pepper
pinch of French attitude
I’ve dragged Jackie Burdisso upstairs to guest chef today’s class (Jackie is the owner of Maison Burdisso, home of the best Parisian macarons ever – available here at the Midtown Farmers Market).
A few months ago, I demonstrated our chickpea fries with red curry-sambal-ketchup. During that class, Jackie came upstairs and we had this impromptu discussion about panisse. Jackie described how to make it – you pour chickpea batter into a special saucer, let it firm up, and then turn it out; you then bread it with flour and fry it in olive oil. That was interesting and all, but not what I was after. What I wanted her to tell us about was something called socca — a flat, crispy chickpea cake, almost like a crepe or thin flatbread. I asked Jackie what it’s served with and she repeated (more than once), just salt and pepper, and sometimes a little olive oil. I pressed her and she finally said, “Rosé wine”….ah, that’s what I was looking for!
It all seemed so simple. But I definitely wanted Jackie’s French expertise to help us through. We are pouring a Texas Rosé today. It would have been a good thing if my assistants had counted the glasses before pouring the wine. Jackie abstains, which is one more reason I believe she isn’t really French. We joke that her name and her family’s gravestones are all in Italian or in Italy and that she isn’t really French. While I am bitching about not getting a glass of wine, my daughter Lili shows up to tell the audience that I am allergic to Tequila, which never fails to get a laugh. In actuality, if I drink Tequila, it is as if someone goes into my body’s breaker box and starts switching all the breakers off; I feel fine, but I can’t stand up. The crowd is roaring. It really isn’t that funny. Jackie shares that she allergic to rosé, which I think is bullshit.
I think the socca might be too simple (and I’m not sure Jackie can carry an entire class on her own), so I am making something, too. I have cranberry beans and amaranth from our new grower, The Secret Garden. Apparently, it really is a secret garden because there is no way to get there but to follow someone. It is 17 acres and the Leung family farms it by hand. Amaranth is a weed, seed, leaf and plant with many varieties. It is high in protein and grows in tropical and subtropical regions, ours being one.