First things first….I think the caramel corn from the Amish is laced with something. Might be crack since it is so addicting that I can’t stop eating it. Might also just be pure buttah. I think that is more likely.
A story having to do with this (kinda): Growing up we would always go to our cottage in the thumb of Michigan. For those of you that know Michigan at all, you can imagine that you drive through some pretty podunk places to get there (well I guess the destination is also a bit podunk but that is not part of this story). We always drove by a little farmhouse owned by an Amish family. One of the girls in the family used to sell baked goods on the side of the road. We stopped once and the stuff we bought was SO good that we started stopping and buying banana bread, pies, jams, etc every few weeks. At the time my mom was driving a real beaut of a car, a green Ford Windstar (this is an unimportant detail but will make her mad to think about since she hated it so much…sorry mom ). Well, our dog at the time–Spring, used to wait at the door to try and bust out of the car. Since it was a sliding door she was really good at getting by us. This particular time, she slid right by, ran onto the lawn and found herself face to face with a peacock. I have no idea why this family had a peacock but I do remember knowing that they had just gotten it and that it was their pride and joy. She chased the peacock all over the yard, and by this time the ENTIRE clan had come out of the woodwork. Woodwork in this scenario=barn, house, field, etc. After much commotion, we finally caught Spring and hauled her back into the van. We apologized profusely but all the Amish were giving us stony looks so we jumped in the van and skirted out of there, never to return. It was just too traumatic. You do not want to receive a stony look from an Amish person. Just trust me on this.
My parents and I were just talking about that last week and apparently we had never told my dad that this happened…though he must have been wondering what happened to all the baked goods! I told him that we most likely blacked out from the embarrassment and just remembered recently.
Another food that I got when I was home last weekend was chickpea flour. I promised you guys I was going to try some new recipes and I am happy to report that I have made not one, but two things with chickpea flour already!
I had read that if you basically mix chickpea flour and water, you will get a pretty nice ‘crust’ for pizza. So to make socca crust you simply use:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
Dash of salt/pepper
2 T buttahhh (oh why not, esp if you have already eaten a pound of
butter caramel corn)
Mix together the flour and water and then add the salt and pepper. Melt the butter and add 1 T to the mixture.
There are a couple of ways to cook this, and I tried both. Just so I could tell you guys which way was better–oven or stovetop. For oven cooking, I warmed up my cast iron pot in the oven while it was preheating (to 450), poured about half of the butter in and then added the socca mixture. It should be a relatively thin layer. I think this stuff tastes better when it is thin, it isn’t really like a traditional crust but think of it as more of a thin crust pizza. Stovetop directions would be to grease a pan with butter, heat and then pour the socca on just like a pancake. It will bubble just like a pancake when it is ready to flip. Each side should be slightly browned.
After cooking the ‘crust’, I covered with tomato sauce, feta and basil and broiled on high for about 3 minutes.
Verdict 1: I preferred cooking the socca pancake style to baking. But this also could have been because I think when I baked the crust it was just a little bit too thick. Next time, I will try to use a bigger pan and see how it works. I wanted to use the pot because it was cast iron, but if you have a cast iron pan, or just a normal pan that can safely go in the oven; I think either would work great, if not better.
Verdict 2: Socca seems pretty sturdy. You could make the savory pancake socca into little appetizer wraps by smearing with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. Then role the whole thing up and cut into smaller pieces for a delicious, healthy and pretty appetizer!
The second recipe that I made with the chickpea flour is crackers! I looked up various cracker recipes just for a general idea of how to make a cracker (I never had), and found they are pretty easy. I need to tweak my recipe a bit before posting for you guys, but let me just say that I may or may not have eaten the entire tray full in one sitting. So you can bet this recipe is going to be a good one. I should have it ready in the next few days.
If you are wondering where to find chickpea flour, Bob’s Red Mill makes it and Bob’s can usually be found at your regular old grocery store. I had trouble finding this exact flour so I ended up buying it in the bulk bins. You should be able to find it in any store with bulk bins too.
I’m off to the gym and then to bake some green stuff as a test for my office potluck next week. Have a great Saturday!