I am a fan of quick and easy when it comes to everyday cooking. Let’s face it…. who has time to cook fancy schmancy meals every day when you’ve got things like full time jobs and (furry) kids and a spousal unit you wish to spend actual time with. But some things are worth waiting for.
Saturday morning we headed over to the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market. As I was walking down the stairs after getting my requisite chicken patty from First Choice Caribbean I caught a whiff of something fantastic.. I turned to the Spousal Unit and said “I smell old cheese… stinky old cheese”.
Most people would think that meant something bad.. but the Spousal Unit knows I ADORE stinky cheese. (it should be noted that when I say stinky I mean pungent and aged. The pecorino you get in the grocery store is so very meh.. it has no oomph.. hand crafted artisan cheeses have OOMPH!)
Lo and behold.. there it was… The Dancing Ewe table with Pecorino wheels… oh my yes.
After a few samplings we decided on the Pecorino Stagionato, which is one year old cheese (I think. I was kind of only half hearing words.. mostly I was just groaning at the yumminess)
Then Jody (the owner dude) asks if we’d like to try the salumi… I died.. this was fan-freaking-tastic. The Spousal Unit and I had the same thought at almost the same time.. we NEED this for a farinata.
I forget what he called this but I think it was Lombata … or something.. I don’t know.. don’t care.. it was awesome.
oh yeah, and we also got some olive oil because it was wonderfully fruity and tasty.
After picking up the rest of our bounty, we headed home and I mixed up the farinata batter..
Farinata batter is simply chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt (don’t use your expensive olive oil for this… you are going to cook it.. hold the good stuff for when you won’t be killing the flavor with heat). I had never heard of farinata until I read Donatella Cooks by Donatella Arpaia (which is a great cookbook by the way.. grab a copy for some wonderfully simple yet elegant recipes)
and then.. I waited..
for hours… srsly
I’ve made these without waiting and I can honestly say they are “fine” .. but letting the batter sit really lets the flour hydrate and it makes for a more tender pancake.
Heat up your oven to 450 degrees F. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to an oven safe 9 or 10 inch skillet and chuck it in the oven for 10 minutes or so to heat it up.
Take the skillet out of the oven, set it on top of your stove and pour in the batter. Grab the handle and …
** hey.. I’m going to mention something important here. Say you have a skillet on the stove top… you are used to just grabbing that handle with a bare hand because, well it’s on the stove top so the handle shouldn’t be hot.. just the skillet bits are hot. .. but this is not the case in this instance.
Think.. no seriously.. think right here at this point because after you drop the batter bowl into the sink and turn back around your brain is NOT going to say OMG THAT HANDLE IS HOT! Ooooh..noooo.. your brain is going to say “It’s a skillet on the stovetop. It’s totally fine to just grab that handle with your bare hand and toss it in the oven”.
Ask me how I know this… or don’t… because it wasn’t fun and I’d rather not discuss the details of me shrieking like a little girl and scaring the crap out of my dogs.
Grab the handle and swirl the pan to bring the batter up to the edges and toss in your oven for 15 minutes.
While this is cooking, get your toppings ready.
I used a vegetable peeler on that hunk of cheese.. this made for nice thin shavings.
I decided to add in some baby arugula I happened to have in the fridge.. I used it for some other recipe.. or something.. I forget. I never have this stuff on hand so I’m calling it a happy accident.
BEEEEEEEEP!!!! It’s done!
Take a stiff spatula and run it around the edges and then slide this out onto a cutting board.
Do they look different? of course they do… I forgot to take a pic of the first one in the pan… so I had to make a second one.
Top with your fixins, drizzle on a little of the GOOD olive oil, sprinkle some kosher salt and crank that pepper mill a few times.
Cut into 8 portions and serve