Chickpea pancakes

July 26, 2015


Known as socca in the south of France, and farinata in Italy, for simplicity’s sake, I’m just going to call these chickpea pancakes. Because that’s what we’ve got here. Made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil and a bit of salt, think of this recipe as a foundation, and build upon it as you’d like. You can do whatever you want with this batter — fold in a handful of chopped spinach and olives, some grated carrots, beets, zucchini, or fresh herbs — but I’d keep the add-ons scant so you avoid having a too-lumpy pancake.

I’ve put Parmesan cheese, tiny basil leaves, and a bit of olive oil to top of the basic one pictured above, which I put under the broiler for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese. The toasted pancakes are more pick-upable than the right-out-of-the-skillet ones, making for a great party appetizer.

Or, if left on the counter while you’re in the other room changing the radio station, a quick snack for a dog named Rose.

Chickpea Pancakes

Makes 3 (6-inch) pancakes

  • 1 cup of chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a bit more for the skillet
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  1. Whisk the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and cumin together, and let this rest for 2 hours.
  1. When you’re ready to make the pancakes, pour 1/3 of the batter into a skillet lightly greased with olive oil over medium-high heat. Let it cook until you see bubbles, check the bottom to make sure it’s nice and brown, then flip to the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Cowgirl Tip: If you want to make these in advance, simply let the pancakes cool and keep them in the fridge in a plastic bag until you’re ready to reheat them.






Spinach, Iced

July 20, 2015


As it turns out, that six euros I spent recently on an ice cube tray at the Monoprix was well worth it. You can’t see the cute domino imprint that’s visible on each cube when frozen, but trust me, it’s far more interesting than the plain ol’ cubes without the one, two, three or whatever dots running across them.

To be clear, this was the only ice cube tray I could find anywhere in this nation of non-icers, and I didn’t even notice the dominoes until I got home. Good design is always welcome in my world, however no one, including me, thought beforehand about how tricky it would be to fit a silicon ice cube tray into a freezer that only has drawers — that’s right, no shelves, no sidedoor pockets, nada. So I have to put Mr. Floppy inside of a ceramic baking dish, which really takes up real estate.

You may be wondering why I have spinach in my ice cube tray instead of, well, ice.

It’s part of a rotation that I do with this overpriced ice cube tray due to the aforementioned lack of subzero space that goes like this: spinach/coffee/water. Guess which one I use the most.

I buy spinach every week, sometimes twice a week, at the big Monop about 10 minutes’ away on the 123. I throw it into my post-yoga smoothies. I chop it up and put it in tacos or quesadillas. I eat it raw in a salad, throw it into a stir-fry, put it on top pizzas, or if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make a big ol’ spinach quiche.

Occasionally, I’ll get about halfway through the sack and notice that the spinach is about a day away from total death and destruction. In the pre-spinach ice cube days, I’d plan to eat it for dinner, but didn’t always, and I’d end up tossing it out the next day, and with a fair amount of guilt.

Then I read something on a website about freezing fresh spinach. Just purée in the baby Cuisinart, then spoon into the ice cube tray of your choice (it doesn’t have to make domino-themed cubes, but I’m telling you, they really perk up an otherwise ho-hum iced coffee). Freeze. Pop them out. Put in freezer bags. Use when the mood strikes.

Two cubes is just the right amount for my smoothies, I’ve found. Plus the added frozen item makes them extra cold, which with all of this heat we’ve been having lately, is a damn good thing.



Blueberry Oat Waffles

July 12, 2015

This morning, Rose and I got to the Bois before the onslaught of joggers and cyclists, me with coffee in hand and small pieces of Gruyère in my pocket (I’m now on month two of the reeducation of Rose, which means bribery is required for any hope of her listening to me). Half of the cheese was dispensed and […]

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Cold Noodles with Chile Oil and Miso-Tahini sauce

June 28, 2015

Maybe it’s because I spent part of my childhood in backseat of our family’s Buick station wagon, driving back and forth from Denton to Fort Worth to eat Chinese food at Jimmie Dip’s, but Asian food has always been one of my top comfort foods. I love the balance of sweet, salty, acidic and spicy — it’s how I […]

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PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 23, 2015

When it comes to homemade cookies, I can never decide which ones I like best — peanut butter, chocolate chip, or oatmeal. I’ve put chocolate chip in peanut butter cookies before and they might be the front runner most of the time, but I also love the texture of an oatmeal cookie. I don’t know why I’ve […]

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Pizza Dough: A Half-Baked Idea

June 7, 2015

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing around with pizza dough, trying to figure out how to replicate the pizza I learned to make in Sorrento. What I’ve learned is this: making great Neapolitan-style pizza at home is easiest when you have a smokin’ hot oven. Even better, if you have a wood […]

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Neapolitan Pizza Sauce

May 14, 2015

I’m just back from Sorrento, which is pizza country, pizza centrale, where the thin, crispy, wood oven-baked pizza that we all love, Neapolitan-style, comes from. If there’s one thing in the world that I love as much as tacos, it’s pizza. I thought I knew all there was to know about pizza. I’ve been making […]

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Mon Petit Jardin

May 4, 2015

Last week, my friend Cat brought me some herbs from Normandy, and I thought, “Excellent! I can put these right outside of my kitchen window in a sweet little window box and that’ll be so handy!” Then I realized the dryer won’t let my large vertical window open more than a few inches, so I […]

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April 27, 2015

Rose has become a Frisbee dog. When she was first learning to catch the it’s-not-a-ball (!) but flying disc at the little park down the street from where we were living in Santa Fe, she’d quickly get tired and declare the Frisbee fetch over. Now we play every afternoon at the Bois de Boulogne and […]

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Roasted Potatoes with Ramp Pesto

April 7, 2015

“Hello, Texas!” shouted the vendor at my new favorite vegetable stand when he saw me walk past with my dog Rose in tow. I waved back.  “Bonjour! Ca va?” I said, and took my place at the back of the line. Then I saw these gorgeous green leaves popping out of the corner of the box of deep […]

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