Jodi Bernhard is the executive chef of Casa Pomona, a Spanish tapas restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
One of the more obscure words on the menu at Casa Pomona is “coca,” which is interesting, because really it is one of the most popular foods in the world.
For Coca Dough
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 Cup beer (a light lager style works best)
- 1/2 Cup warm water
- 2 Cup flour
- 2 Teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Coca
- 4 Ounce fresh coca or pizza dough
- 1 Cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 Of a large Spanish onion, thinly julienned
- 1 Large yukon gold potato, peeled, quartered and cut into 1/8th inch slices, and held in cold water
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 Large eggs, beaten
- 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Teaspoon minced fresh chives
- 1/2 Pound thinly sliced bacon
- 1 Cup grated Manchego cheese
- 1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For Coca Dough- Step 1:
In the bowl of a stand-up mixer combine yeast with the beer and water. Let set for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy. Add all of the other ingredients and mix with the dough hook attachment, kneading for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in a large bowl rubbed with olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put in warm place to rise.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down then form it into a tight ball. Put it back in the oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise again.
When dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin roll it out to a long oval shape, approximately 1/4 inch in thickness.
For the Coca- Step 1:
If using a store bought pizza dough, let the dough come to room temperature and form into a tight ball. Place in an oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put somewhere warm until dough is doubled in size. When dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin roll it out to a long oval shape, approximately ¼ inch in thickness. Lay the coca dough on a baking sheet rubbed with olive oil.
If using homemade coca dough, follow the directions in the recipe above to form the dough.
To prepare the garnishes for the coca, heat both the olive oil and the vegetable oil in a large sauce pan. Toss the onions with 1/2 tablespoon of the salt. Add the onions to the warm oil. Cook over low heat, so that the oil is just barely simmering for about 15 minutes or until the onions are tender.
Drain the potatoes from the cold water and pat dry with a towel. Toss the potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon of the salt, add the potatoes to the onions in the pot and continue cooking on low until the potatoes are completely tender.
Immediately strain the onions & potatoes from the hot oil and spread out the onion-potato mixture on a plate to cool to room temperature. You may reserve the oil to use for this recipe again. It will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Mix the beaten eggs and the herbs with the onion-potato mixture and season with the rest of the salt and the fresh ground pepper.
Spread the egg mixture over the entire surface of the coca dough, then top with grated cheese. Lay all of the bacon slices over the top, making sure that the slices are touching each other and are completely covering the entire surface of the coca.
Bake in a 450° oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.