Coca Mallorquina | Marc Fosh

0

I know there are those who recoil at the idea of eating with their fingers and some might foolishly give the whole notion of it a big thumbs-down, but I love the feel of food and I adore getting stuck into delicious finger food.

The Spanish tend to love finger food and they are not alone. Iranians wrap their kebabs in flat bread to make them easier to eat. Indians save on the washing-up by eating curries with naan bread and Thai people serve sticky rice with just about anything so they can roll little balls of rice, dent one end with their thumb, and use that to scoop up meat or fish from the communal pot. For me, the perfect finger food should be just too big to eat politely in one mouthful and the risk of some of it ending up down the front of your shirt should also be present.

Mallorca’s most popular finger food is probably "Coca". Although the name applies to a wide range of both sweet and savoury cakes and breads prepared and consumed throughout Catalonia, Aragón, Valencia and all over the Balearic Islands, I prefer the savoury, salty ones. Other savoury “cocas” seem to exist all over the Mediterranean region from Italian pizzas and focaccias, to the French pissaladière of Provence and the delicious flatbreads of the Middle East.

My favourite “coca” is topped with roasted peppers, tomatoes and onions. It’s the perfect finger food appetizer and it can also liven up any picnic on the beach.

Coca Mallorquina

COCA MALLORQUINA - MALLORCAN RED PEPPER TART

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

300g strong plain flour

150 ml lukewarm water

100ml olive oil

20g yeast

1tsp salt

A pinch of paprika

Topping:

3 red peppers

1 medium onion, peeled & diced

10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.

2. Place the flour, paprika and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil a little at a time, mixing constantly.

3. When all the yeast mixture and olive oil has been incorporated, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

4. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise for about 1½ hours in a warm place until doubled in size.

5. While the dough is proving, roast the red pepper in a hot oven until the skin starts to blacken & blister. Place them in a bowl and cover well with cling-film. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the peppers by hand, remove the seeds and cut them into thick strips.

6. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a gentle flame and add the diced onion and garlic. Cook gently for about 3-4 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the chopped anchovies and cherry tomatoes and remove from the heat. Add the sliced red peppers and season to taste.

7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

8. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and then roll it to a rectangle about 1cm thick. Place it on a large baking sheet and spread the pepper topping evenly over the dough.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges and bottom are golden brown. Leave to cool and slice, serving slightly warm or at room temperature.

Olive, Sun-Dried Tomato & Rosemary Flatbread

OLIVE, SUN-DRIED TOMATO & ROSEMARY FLATBREAD

This is an easy flat bread recipe that makes a delicious side dish to any meal.

Ingredients serves 4-6

225g strong white flour

1tsp dried yeast

1tsp caster sugar

1tsp fine salt

160ml warm water

180ml olive oil

2tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2tbsp chopped black olives

2tbs rosemary sprigs

1tbs sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 220°C.

1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a food processor with the dough hook. Add the water and half the olive oil and mix to combine. Knead for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

2. Place in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 40 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute or until dough is knocked back to its original size. Divide dough into 2 even portions. Use a rolling pin to roll 1 portion out to a 4mm-thick rough rectangle. Place onto an oven tray. Repeat with remaining portion.

4. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over each portion and sprinkle with the sun dried tomatoes, chopped olives, rosemary and salt flakes. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bacon, apple, blue cheese & walnut pizza

BACON, APPLE, BLUE CHEESE & WALNUT PIZZA

Ingredients Serves 4

250 g strong white flour (high in gluten)

5 tablespoons olive oil

½ tablespoon salt

½ tablespoon dried yeast

150 ml lukewarm water

For the topping:

1 red apple, cored and sliced

1 red onion, sliced

5 slices of bacon, diced

200 g blue cheese

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

6 fresh sage leaves, torn

6 fresh sage leaves to garnish

Salt and pepper


1. Place the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and add the water and oil. Mix well and continue kneading until the dough is smooth. Place the dough in a large, flour-dusted bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 - 220°C.

3. Fry the bacon in frying pan until cooked and slightly crisp.

4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1 cm thick - the thinner the dough, the crispier the crust will be. Press into a 20cm x 30cm lightly greased baking tray.

5. Slice the apples and red onions and sprinkle them over the dough, and then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and crispy bacon.

6. Scatter with fresh sage leaves and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown.

8. Garnish with fresh sage leaves before serving.