That’s such a fun word to say out loud. Did you know that soca (with one c) is also the name of a music genre from the Anglo/French Caribbean? It’s not the “Dieter”/dieter conondrum from tartine week, but another fun coincidence.
Unlike most of my fellow Doristas, I had seen socca before under its Argentinean moniker, faína. Almost exactly six years ago, Eduardo and I were honeymooning in Argentina. After four straight days of wonderful multi-course meals in Mendoza, one of the main wine growing areas, we arrived into Buenos Aires looking for something… simple. Our first meal in the city was pizza and a cold Quilmes at a very good chain restaurant a couple of blocks from our Palermo Soho hotel. All through the pizzeria there were signs with the different menu items and family style combinations. Most of these included the faína. Admittedly, we were not curious enough to try it but made sure to ask about it later. Chickpea flatbread… interesting concept.
I had bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo flour (proud sponsor of IFBC!) a while back to make my friend Madelyn’s falafel recipe. After using it for the falafel, I vacuum-sealed the bag and nestled it on the door of my fridge, in the company of the buckwheat flour and the farina… not exactly a no-man’s land of refrigerator space, but also not an area I visit often. Out of the more recent FFwD recipes, the socca caught my eye because I had everything on hand, it was quick, without major cleanup, and fitting with the VB6 lifestyle I’ve adopted for the last two months. It also seemed to be well liked among most members of the group. Besides, with only four ingredients – garbanzo flour, olive oil, water and rosemary – it seemed like the perfect snack to put together on a whim.
After checking out David Lebovitz’s blog post about socca, I chose a shallow cast iron skillet to cook it. Those pans get screaming hot in the 500˚F oven! This recipe is the perfect excuse to cure those cast iron pans. One of my favorite tricks to avoid burns – and cautionary blog posts – is to place an oven mitt right over the handle of any pans that go into the oven.
The batter baked up for about five minutes before turning the broiler on. I sat by the oven for close to eight minutes to make sure that the flatbread was browned and crisp around the edges.
I also had to see what the socca looked like on the other side before tearing into it.
And after that, as it usually happens with most snacks, it disappeared quickly. I think I ate a third of it within an hour. I know this recipe will make it into the picadera roster next time we have company over. It was one of the little great discoveries from FFwD!
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. This week was a makeup week and free recipe choice for the different home cooks. To see the rest of the group’s soccas, head here. To see which recipes were selected for this special Friday, click here.