Thursday, March 6, 2014

Socca and Stew

It’s good to know that I still have much to learn about international cuisine. Just when I think I’ve learned everything there is to know about vegetarian cooking, something new pops out at me. Today’s lesson: socca. Socca is a vegan, gluten-free (for thems that cares) flatbread made of chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and salt. It can be seasoned with rosemary, pepper, or a variety of other spices. Socca originated in Genoa, Italy, as farinata. Other versions of the flatbread popped up in Tuscany (cecina), Nice (socca), Algeria (karanita), and a number of other cities.

And I’ve never heard of this before. Ever. It kind of boggles the mind and makes me wonder what else I am missing.

Tonight I made socca to go along with brown rice and a Moroccan-style chickpea stew. I am not printing the recipe for socca because you can all go find a good recipe out there with a pretty simple Google search. However, I promised my youngest son that I would print the recipe for my stew, especially since I pretty much came up with it on the fly. ‘Cause I’m pretty darn amazing…even if I’ve never heard of socca before.

Moroccan-Style Chickpea Stew

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 medium sized red potatoes, cut into ½- inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup raw baby spinach leaves
  • 2 x 15 oz. cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. allspice

In a large frying pan, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and ginger root in the oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, and potatoes and sauté a couple minutes more. Stir in the tomato sauce, chick peas, and spices. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve over rice or cous cous.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Huevos Burritos Jardin

Here's another recipe I invented while thinking about everything I had in the refrigerator. One of my sons will not each raw spinach...or at least not without vociferous protest. So, what to do with the spinach leaves...what to do with the spinach leaves...
I asked my sons to help me come up with a name for the dish, and after negotiating and rejecting some of their ideas, I came up with huevos burritos. The 'jardin' is because of the chunky vegetables. One could even increase the spinach or add more greens and call it huevos burritos verde. And, I suppose if someone was of the omniverous ilk, one could create a huevos burritos carne. But the Wolfsong Diner does not support such an abomination. So there.
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables
    • Onion
    • Bell pepper
    • Carrot
    • Celery
    • Raw spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 x 15 oz. cans of black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup prepared picante
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 6 eggs, beaten separately
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cojack cheese
Sauté the vegetables in the olive oil in a large pan until the onions are translucent and just browned. Remove from heat and add in the tomato sauce, beans, picante, and chili powder. Add back to the heat and stir to mix. Mash about 1/3 of the beans in the pan and stir back in to thicken the mixture. Cook on the stovetop for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Spray a small sauté pan with cooking spray, and cook each egg separately so they spread over the pan in a single layer and just set. Remove each egg and stack on a plate.
To make each huevos burrito, scoop about ¾ cup of bean filling into the center of each egg and roll up into a log. Place each rolled egg next to each other in a glass cooking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Place under a broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.
Note: this recipe makes plenty of bean filling, so the recipe can be expanded for more eggs.