One of the cool things I get to do with my personal chef service is make food for people with severe food allergies. Some are pretty easy to mangage, like dairy; plenty of nondairy options exist these days, and there are lots of dishes that are just fine when I omit the cheese, the milk or the butter. Other clients have crazy, multiple, deadly allergies, and I will admit there are times when I think "Jesus Christ I'm going to need a thousand recipes for boiled water, STAT!!". Then I do a little research and my blood pressure returns to normal.
Playing around with alternate flours is one of the fun parts of this research. I love messing with chestnut flour, teff, brown rice flour and lentil flour. My favorite flour of all, though, is garbonzo flour. It has some lovely qualities which you can read about over at chefshop.com's page about farina di ceci (the Italian name for garbonzo flour).
Socca is a very common southern French style crepe, and just like most foods that you find around the Mediterranean, there is a version of it in most nearby countries, notably Italian Farinata and the Moroccan Kalinti.
This particular recipe is not actually an allergen-free one, though I have a couple of versions that are-email me if you're interested. This one is big and rich and floofy, and incredibly delicious wrapped around some gruyere cheese and thinly sliced apple. Enjoy with a light white wine for a delicious afternoon snack.
Socca, or Provencal Crepes
- 1-1/4 cups farina di ceci
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Lard or clarified butter
Sift the farina di ceci and AP flour together with a fork. Add the salt and whisk in the milk and olive oil. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
Add water and stir well, then pass the batter through a sieve.
Over medium-high heat, melt the lard or butter in an 8” nonstick pan. Pour a thin layer of batter in the pan, tilting it to get the entire surface covered. Cook until brown, flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter, laying parchment or waxed paper between crepes. For a great treat, put a crepe back in the pan with a little more lard or butter, top it with greens, sliced fruit or cheese. Let these ingredients warm through. Top this with another crepe and flip the whole thing over. Remove from heat, slice and serve immediately.
Yield: about 12 crepes