Recipes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Socca with Lamb & Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Have you heard of Socca?  I hadn't until maybe last year when I saw it on Fitnessista's blog.  It's basically a pancake made from chickpea flour, and is a popular street food in the south of France.  The recipe I had seen on blogs before was simply equal parts chickpea flour and water.  Didn't sound too exciting but I could see how it would make a great vessel for other foods and flavors.

I had sort of forgotten about Socca since then, but after seeing a beautiful version in my new cookbook, Plenty, I knew it wouldn't be long before I made it.  Plus I've had a bag of chickpea flour in the pantry for a while now anyways so there was really no excuse.

IMG_3621The recipe in the cookbook calls for the Socca to be topped with caramelized onions and oven roasted tomatoes.  I still want to try this version, but the version I wanted to make involved an idea in my head with ground lamb and a refreshing yogurt cucumber sauce.

I used the Socca recipe from Plenty, which had whipped egg whites in the batter along with the chickpea flour and water.  I imagine these are a bit more fluffy than the regular kind without egg whites.

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For the toppings, I just sautéed some ground lamb, drained some of the excess fat, and seasoned the meat with salt, cumin, and fresh lemon juice.

For the cucumber-yogurt sauce I combined plain yogurt, chopped cucumber, red onion, fresh dill, fresh parsley, and lemon and let it sit in the fridge while I made the rest of the meal.

Socca
from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi

  • 1 3/4 cups Chickpea Flour
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1.5 T olive oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper

Whisk together chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and pepper until smooth.  In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Fold egg whites into chickpea batter.

Heat oven to 325.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats.  Use a non-stick frying pan with a diameter of about 6” at the bottom.  Brush with olive oil.  Heat to med-high heat, then add in 1/4 of the socca batter.  Just like a regular pancake, bubbles will start to appear on the surface after about 2 minutes.  Use a spatula to loosen around the edges and then flip!  Cook for 1 more minute and transfer to baking sheet.  After all 4 pancakes are cooked, bake for 5 minutes. 

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I still need a little practice flipping a big pancake like that, but at least there were no casualties.

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Cucumber Yogurt Topping

All quantities are approximate, adjust to your liking!

  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 6oz container of plain yogurt
  • 1 T finely chopped dill
  • 1 T finely chopped parsley
  • juice from 1/4 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Mix all together.  Can be made ahead of time.  Chill until ready to use.

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Lamb
(makes enough for 2 servings, 1 socca pancake each)

  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt & pepper

Assemble like a pizza!  Socca, topped with lamb, topped with cucumber…

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Fresh tomato and chunks of feta cheese really brought the meal together.  I loved the saltiness and bite from the feta!  I think crumbled feta would be great mixed in with the cucumbers as well.

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It was a little messy to eat.  I tried picking it up like a wrap, and then breaking pieces off, but eventually a knife and fork was the weapon of choice.

IMG_3635 This was a great change from the usual dinners, and both Brian and I loved the flavors...we both love lamb so always looking for new ways to work it into the repertoire.

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We had leftover Socca pancakes that were great

Plus the possibilities for the leftover socca pancakes were endless!  I used one as a “wrap” for a sandwich later in the week!

Try anything new-to-you lately??

11 comments:

  1. FunandFearlessinBeantownMarch 29, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    I made quinoa cakes last weekend and those were definitely new to me.  These Socca pancakes almost look like crepes!

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  2. How great! I have had chickpea flour sitting in my pantry for a while now too. I had planned on trying socca, but hadn't gotten around too it- you've re-inspired me!

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  3. Emily @ A Cambridge StoryMarch 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I LOVE this. I started to use chickpea flour last year but have very few recipes -- this Socca pancake looks great and I love the toppings! A must make :)

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  4. I made socca for the first time last week, also inspired by Plenty! I topped it with caramelized onions, potatoes, and parmesan. Your toppings look fabulous - can't wait to try!

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  5. I definitely flagged the socca recipe as something I needed to make when I first flipped through Plenty. Love that cookbook!!

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  6. I once made chickpea flour pancakes when I was in Europe, your toppings look way better than what I ended up eating it with.

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  7. This actually looks delicious! Was the texture of the socca the same as a pancake?

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  8. I've had a bag of chickpea flour sitting in my pantry for AGES, so this would be a great way to use it!!

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  9. Yes!  Very similar to a regular pancake, probably because of the eggwhites.

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  10. Sounds yummy!  I'm assuming you just browned the lamb on the stove?

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  11. It realy looks delicious. almost drooled :) My favorite section of the blog is the yogurt recipes

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