East Bay Real Estate – A Fresh Approach

A Fresh Approach to East Bay Real Estate

Provence in Berkeley

Posted on | May 26, 2010 | No Comments




My friend Blanche is spending the year in Provence.  She’ll meet her family in Paris for the holidays, but basically she’s staying in Provence and reports that it is very hard work to obtain the visa for a year in France.  It involves standing in long lines for many, many hours in Nice.  That made me remember the long lines in the Cours Saleya (the big Nice market) in front of the Socca stand because a Socca is just the right snack to get you through the morning, especially if you are shopping for the week’s fruits, vegetables, and flowers, a coveted antique, or even just souvenirs.

What is Socca, you ask?  It is the most delicious thin pancake made of chickpea flour and cooked on a huge flat griddle until it is crispy on the edges with a slight pull and chewiness.

I never thought of trying to make Socca at home until I read Mark Bittman’s column in the New York Times.  He calls them Tortillitas, and says they originated in Andalusia, but in my book a pancake featuring chickpea flour is pretty much a Socca.  Here’s Bittman’s recipe.  He uses shrimp, but allows that other seafood work fine too.  I have been cooking them on my flat stovetop griddle and enjoying them, usually outdoors, with family and friends.  Give them a try sometime!

1/2 c Chickpea flour
1/2 c White flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c Chopped onion or scallions
About 1/2 c raw shrimp, chopped
2-3 Tb chopped chives, parsley, thyme or cilantro

In a bowl, combine flours and baking powder with salt and pepper.  Add a little more than a cup of water and stir to combine; consistency should resemble pancake batter.  Stir in the onions, chopped seafood and herbs.

Let rest if possible for about an hour.

Put a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium high heat and film its bottom generously with olive oil.  When oil is hot, pour in half the batter until it fills center of pan; spread gently with a spoon to form a large pancake.

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancake is set around edges; flip pancake and continue cooking for another 3 minutes, then flip it again and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until it is crisp on the outside but still moist inside. Remove from the pan and serve immediately, while remaining batter cooks.



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