Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SOCCA



(Chick Pea Flour light, thin, salty, crisp pancakes)
By Gael Verger

Speciality of Nice. This is an apperitif for 10 people

  • 250g of Chickpea flour
  • 500 ml of water 
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tea spoon salt


Preparation

Mix flour and water to make a very thin batter, like a crêpe batter.  Add olive oil and salt.

Let the batter rest for 1 hr. Remix it before using.

Use a 35 cm diameter pizza pan, the oven must be extremely hot 230°C/410F. Put the empty pan in the oven and when is extremely hot and put 2 tbspoon of olive oil on it.  Put the pizza pan back in the oven to heat olive oil. 
Add 2 ladles of the batter on the extremely hot olive oil pizza pan. Thickness of the dough, approximately 0.5mm.  

Every oven is different so your first socca will guild you for the next batch.  Cook for 7 min at 230°C/410F (You my need to us the grill few minutes before the end of the cooking period). 

The texture of the socca must be crispy top and inside hardly soft (moelleux).

You can make 2 pizza pans with this.

Bonne dégustation   

Petits Farcis Niçois


Ingredients of the  (for 8 people)
by Gael Verger
  • 8 onions white or red 
  • 6 zucchinis (cut in 3 parts) 
  • 4 eggplants
  • 8 potatoes 
  • 350 g ground beef (or 600 gr beef and no sausage meat)
  • 250 g ground sausage meat 
  • 150 g uncooked long grain rice (I use whole or semi)
  • 1 tablespoonesfresh thyme
  • 2 twigs of fresh rosemary 
  • 1  bunch of  fresh flat-leaved parsley 
  • salt
  • pepper


Prep the vegetables

Peel onions and put them in the boiling water with salt 5 min. A process is called "blancher" or blanching.  Drain them.  Wash and wipe all the vegetables, eggplants, zucchinis, and potatoes.
Cut the top of each of these vegetables and reserve their tops to place it as a hat. We are going to fill them.
Using a spoon,, small melon baller or scoop, delicately scoop out the flesh of all the vegetables (leave 1 mm from the skin to the flesh), without damaging the skin and Reserve it in a bowl.

In boiling water with salt put the swiss chard 5 min same process has for the onions (blanching).
Drain them and place between two sheets of paper towels to remove the water. 

Preheat the oven at 180°C/350F.

Prepare the rice

Cook your rice half the time recommended. The rice will continue to cook with the petit farcis in the oven.  It will absorb the extra juice of the vegetables

Prepare the stuffing

Use the vegetables that you reserved in a bowl.
Chop 2 tablespoonful of onions and all the flesh of the other vegetables that you had saved in a bowl.
Saute the onions with olive oil until translucent brownish in a large skillet. Add the chopped vegetables.  Add the sausage meat and then ground beef, when the pink of the meat is just starting to fade away remove from the fire. Add the chopped swiss chard, rice, fresh persil, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme. Mix.
Taste the stuffing before seasoning with salt & pepper

Start stuffing your vegetables. Place the saved hats on the vegetables. Put the dish in the oven for 1 hour then reduce the temperature 150 °C/300F and let it cook about 30 min more.

GNOCCHIS




By Gael Verger
Ingredients for 8 people

2 kg of potatoes 
500gr of spelt flour (flour)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt



Preparation

Clean and peel the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes in a steamer preferably (or in water).

Crush them with potato masher to obtain a purée.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

2 egg yokes .

Add 400gr of the spelt flour to start.

Mix well.. The dough is rather sticky but that is completely normal. 
The more we add of flour, the more firm the dough will be. 

Flour the work top, take a quarter of the dough and coat it well with flour
(Use the remaining 100gr of the flour when the dough starts to get sticky again-the flour absorbs the water and gets sticky).

Roll the dough in form of a sausage 2 centimeters in diameter.

Chop pieces with a knife 2 centimeters.

Press the dough with the back of a fork to make an mark on the gnocchis

Put the gnoccis (20 at a time) to cook in a big pan of salty boiling water. As soon as the gnocchis come up to the surface, take them out with a skimmer and continue the same process with the remaining uncooked gnocchis.

Cooking tips : I cook my gnocchis in advance by small quantities and as soon as they surface, I put them in some cold water for 1min to stop the cooking. Take them out with a strainer type of spoon/ladle to get rid of the remaining water. Transfer in a dish put some olive oil (½ tbspoon) to prevent them to stick. Then I prepare the sauce (tomato sauce or parsley sauce). I add them at the last minute to reheat the gnoccis.
So I can enjoy dinner with guests!

Anchoiade (aperitif)



By Gael Verger
Ingredients for 8 people
20 anchovies, packed in salt  (not  the anchovies in olive oil)
2 big garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
6 tablespoons olive oil


Preparation
clean/rinse the anchovies well (take of all the salt), drain them
remove the bones from the center
use a small robot mixer, put in the anchovies, pressed garlic cloves, fresh thyme (just their small leaves) and olive oil (add water if too compact)
mix few times

Serve with cut raw veggies or oat crackers... 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

AMAZING Pumpkin Pie with GingerSnap or Speculoos Crust 

Typically, I do not like Pumpkin Pie, actually I HATE Pumpkin Pie. I make it every Thanksgiving for people I love who Love it! Today, I had a Pumpkin Pie request at my Healthy Cooking class. So, I went for it. What a surprise! It was fantastic. I had 3 French, 1 Spanish and a non-cooking American raving. I used a straight edge cake pan instead of a typical American pie pan, like a small french art pan. This made it easier to press in the crust, and held more filling. You gotta try it.

Pumpkin Pie 
1 small cooking pumpkin (NOT a Halloween pumpkin)
3/4c raw cane sugar
1/4c maple syrup
3 eggs
1 cup soy milk or regular milk
1/2 cup soy cream or regular milk
1 Tablespoon melted coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ginger (or more to taste)

GingerSnap Crust 
24 gingersnaps or speculoos cookies, ground to a crumble
4 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar (use only if cookies are not overly sweet)
pinch of seasalt

Start by preparing the pumpkin... 
Preparing Pumpkin 
Pre heat oven to 400F/200C.
Cut pumpkin in half. Take seeds out. Place flesh down (skin up) on a cookie sheet. Poke a few holes in the skin. Add a few TBLS of water to tray. Place in oven and roast until pumpkin is soft. Be careful when you open the oven door, the steam will shoot out in your face!

Now, prepare the crust... 
GingerSnap Crust
Add melted coconut oil/butter to the cookie crumbs.
Stir in sugar and seasalt.
Press into pie pan. Cook for 10 minutes. 350F/175C.
Cool in fridge until filling is ready.

Now make the filling...
Blend all ingredient together until very smooth. Pour into cooled crust. Cook at 350F/175C for 30-35 minutes, until the center is not liquid-y when you touch it. Serve warm!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ThinMints- the vegan kind...

My daughter was playing around with my cookbooks recently, and lover of mint and chocolate that she is, she discovered and successfully vegan-ized these amazing cookies from the Tassajara CookBook. Just makes it easier to eat them! Who says we need to wait for the girls in green to come by.... 2+1/2cups (375gr) flour (I use spelt/epeautre) 1/2cup (125gr0 cocoa powder 1+1/2 tsp (coffee spoon) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1/2 tsp seasalt 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (de-aromatized is the best) 1 cup maple syrup 1+1/2 tsp mint extract 1+1/2 cups chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350degrees F/ 175degrees C. COmbine all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl. In a large tall mixing cup, combine all wet ingredients with a stick mixer to emulsify. Or just whisk them together until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all the flour is combined. Then gently mic in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet covered with baking paper, and flatten with the back of the spoon. Bake 12-16 minutes- wait for the chocolate-y smell and then check them! Cool. Since we no longer have store bought cookies, we make batter, ball it all, bake only 1-2 trays and freeze the rest of the balls for another day's instant warm cookies!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

Coconut oil is really my chosen oil to bake with. It adds a richness of flavor while being truly the most heart healthy oil there is.

WET
3/4 cups safflower or melted coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
3 eggs or 6 egg whites or 6 Tbl ground flax seed whisked with 12 Tbl water (set aside)
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbl vanilla

DRY
4 cups whole wheat flour (or spelt)
1 1/8 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups blueberries- fresh, frozen or defrosted

Pre heat oven to 350F/175C.

Whisk all WET ingredients together.

Mix together flour, coconut and baking powder & soda.
Blend into WET ingredients.
Gently stir in blueberries.

The batter will be thick and delicious.
If you prefer a runnier batter, add some soy milk to get to the texture of batter you are used to.

Spoon batter into greased or papered muffin tins.
Bake at 350F/175C for about 30 minutes but check after 20. Bake until a skewer or knife comes out clean.