Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Socca ~ Farinata -- Chickpea finds a new shape. Gluten free, dairy free, but not yummy-free.

This chickpea dainty goes by many names. According to Wikipedia: In standard Italian, the dish is called "farinata" 'made of flour'. In Genoese dialect, it is fainâ. In Nice and the Côte d'Azur, it is called "socca", and in Tuscany, "cecina" 'made of chickpeas'. In Argentina it is Fainá or Faina. According to one of my readers, it can simply called fabulous, and I was intrigued to try it. Now, as I often do when making something that is an existing recipe, I research the heck out of it, and then modify and come up with what seems like a sensible recipe for me to try. In this case, the amount of water seemed inadequate, as it produced a thick paste, and not a consistency like heavy cream. Thus, I added more, and now have batter the consistency of heavy cream. Additionally, I chose to use coconut oil and not olive oil. Because that's the kind of freak I am. Finally, I am not comfortable cooking at super high temperatures, thus wanted to adapt the cooking temperature and time to produce a great but slightly modified product. And there you have it. Plus, I why would I use raw onion when I could use sauteed onion? Most of the recipes I came across have optional raw onion and rosemary components.

Finally, we received some wild leeks in our organic bin today. Unlike the other leeks with whom I have a nodding acquaintance, wild leeks are tender from head to toe, from tip to root. Lovely. How good would some sauteed leeks be in this dish?

Anyway, we did enjoy my first attempt with dinner tonight, and let me tell you that, aside from the fact that one of the recipes called for way too much salt -- ick -- it is indeed fabulosity. Really lovely. And, such a simple and rustic addition to a meal.

Oh, and usually -- well, always really -- it's round. But my round cast iron pan is way too small, and this one actually was perfect. Not round. But, you know, I'm sort of square myself. ;)


1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp sea salt -- recduce to 1/2 tsp, methinks
plenty of black pepper
1/8-1/4 ground cumin
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp coconut oil


1. combine the chickpea flour with the salt, pepper, and cumin. (we live just down the street from Little India, so I had some BESAM in my cupboard already. For those of you who are not so situated, please seek it out in the organic section at Loblaws, at your neighbourhood natural food store, or at your favourite over-priced alternative food market.)
2. add the water and whisk to get rid of lumps and make it smooth
3. add the coconut oil. Because you used warm water, the coconut oil will melt.
4. if you are using any sauteed onion or leek, or raw onion and rosemary, you can add it now.
5. allow the batter to sit (covered!) on the counter for at least an hour or all afternoon like I did.
6. preheat your oven to 345. While it is heating, preheat your cast iron skillet of at least 12". After the skillet is hot, coat it with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil, and pour the batter on.
7. bake this concoction in your oven for a long time. I think I baked mine for an hour. If you like to cook things on a high temperature, you can cook for a shorter time, and finish up with some time under the broiler, which I didn't do. I did, however, coat the top with a little extra coconut oil after about 40 minutes, and return it to the oven for a little longer, to brown on top, more. 

Some of it was chewy. Some of it was crispy. All of it was delicious, and I look forward to adding sauteed leek next time we make it.

Thanks, Michaela. :)



Anonymous said...

welcome :)
what a great idea about the sauteed onions... far better than raw. tried that once, didnt see the point... but I certainly will revisit it now. You might not be able to convince me to get rid of all that yummy olive oil though :)

stacey said...

Well, I shall not even try, then :)

I'm sure socca purists would be shocked and outraged by my adulterations ...

I'm thinking a little chili powder along with the cumin next time, and some sauteed onion. The version with sauteed leeks was GOOD.