Socca (savory chickpea pancake)

Socca (savory chickpea pancakes)

Socca (savory chickpea pancake)

Topped with a Salad of Spring Lettuce
Egg, Feta, Radish, Chili, Olives, Dill, Lemon, Tahini Sauce

Socca, a savory chickpea pancake, is known as Nice’s original street food. Often served au naturel in Provence, cut into shards as snack, pleasantly with a glass of chilled rosé. Socca can also be served with all kinds of toppings for a delightful lunch. It is usually baked on a large round flat copper pan in a wood-burning oven.

In this recipe, nontraditional cumin and smoked paprika added to the batter mimic the smokiness of a wood-burning oven. And a non-stick skillet on the stovetop stands in for the copper pan and makes cooking the socca a breeze.

Socca As A Snack with Rosé

Socca as a snack with Rosé

Socca Recipe

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Matzoh Ball Soup, Vietnamese Flavors

Matzoh Ball Soup, Vietnamese Flavors

Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup, Vietnamese Flavors

Yes, of course, I still make my traditional matzoh balls… hundreds of them in fact. But I also like to mix it up a bit, and surprise my guests with some exotic flavors… such as my mysterious Saffron Matzoh Balls, super-flavorful Mexican Matzoh Balls, and the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Poultry-Seasoned Turkey Matzoh Balls. Those fancy Fried Matzoh Balls from Passover 2021 were an outrageous hit, too.

This year the inspiration comes from Pho Ga, that fragrant herby Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Here, matzoh balls are subtly spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and stand in for the rice noodles. The chicken broth is flavored with blackened onion and ginger, lemongrass, and star anise where the smoky-salty-sweet-umami layers are simply intoxicating.

Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup
Vietnamese Flavors Recipe

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Cauliflower and Aged Gouda Soufflé

Cauliflower and Aged Gouda Soufflé

Cauliflower and Aged Gouda Soufflé

These delightful soufflés are perfect for a springtime luncheon! 36 month-aged Gouda from the Netherlands adds nutty, butterscotch flavors and an interesting salt crystal crunchy texture. This flavorful cheese pairs well with a full-bodied complex Alsatian Pinot Gris.

The soufflés are super easy to prepare, and bake up to a puffed golden brown in 35 minutes. Served with a pretty side salad, they make a lovely light lunch…or easily double the recipe and serve them on a platter as part of a buffet because, as a bonus, the soufflés hardly deflate so they are excellent for entertaining.

Cauliflower Soufflé Recipe

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Fromage Langres et Champagne

Fromage Langres et Champagne

Kicking off my first post of 2022 with a theatrical Champagne and Cheese Course. Not just any cheese, but a special cow’s milk cheese that originates from the plateau of Langres in the Champagne region of France.

What Grows Together, Goes Together

A broadly accurate principle for matching wine with a particular food is to choose components from the same region…the pairing of fromage Langres (pronounced Lawn-gruh) with Champagne is no exception.

A Unique Cheese

Langres is only rotated once during maturation. The weight of the liquid in the cheese causes it to collapse creating its signature concave cap. The dent on top is the result of the cheese not being turned as it matures, making the cheese settle in the center. It is not exactly clear who originally thought that this dent would be the perfect place to splash some Champagne, but it is!

To Serve Fromage Langres et Champagne

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Maltagliati all’Arrabbiata

Maltagliati all'arrabbiata

Maltagliati all’Arrabbiata
Calabrian Chili, Burrata, and Fresh Basil
Served with an Amalfi Spritz

Buon Natale! Merry Christmas – this is a brilliant vegetarian dish for the holiday with its beautiful striking red and green colors. But how could it possibly be any good? The pasta, maltagliati, literally translates to “badly cut” and the sauce arrabbiata translates to “angry”! Turns out this bad-cut-angry pasta dish is actually deliziosa…and perfect for the holidays.

Maltagliati all’arrabbiata Recipe

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