Thursday, December 5, 2013

These vegetarian faux crab cakes were a big hit

2 things: (1) I like crab cakes, but don't particularly like the taste of crab.  I think I like the crispy fried aspect and also I like the taste of Old Bay seasoning; (2) Our friends Stephen and Jessica are vegetarian and come over for dinner not infrequently so I'm constantly looking for new vegetarian things to make so it's not just some pasta again.  Also, Jessica is a fantastic cook and so we're locked in an eternal struggle to see whose cuisine reigns supreme.  (NB: It's possible Jessica doesn't know about this last element.)

Anyway, everybody loved these.  Original recipe from Food & Wine magazine.  Can be vegan too - just sub vegan mayonnaise, whatever the fuck that is, for the mayo.

  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  2. 2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 4 ears of corn)
  3. 1/4 cup minced onion
  4. 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
  5. One 15-ounce can whole hearts of palm—drained, thinly sliced lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch lengths
  6. 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  8. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  9. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  10. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs, plus more for coating
  11. Salt
  12. Freshly ground pepper
  1. In a nonstick skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the corn, onion and bell pepper and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Scrape 1 cup of the mixture into a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree.
  2. In a bowl, squeeze the hearts of palm to break them into shards. Add the puree and the remaining sautéed vegetables to the bowl, along with the Old Bay, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir until evenly moistened.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fill a pie plate with bread crumbs. Scoop scant 1/4-cup mounds of the hearts of palm mixture into the bread crumbs and roll to coat. Form the mounds into eighteen 2-inch cakes and transfer to the baking sheet.
  4. Wipe out the nonstick skillet, then add a scant 1/8 inch of oil. Fry half of the cakes over moderate heat, turning once, until crispy, 2 minutes per side. Wipe out the skillet and add clean oil before frying the remaining cakes. Serve the cakes hot.

So that's the official recipe.  I made them  few hours ahead and put them in the fridge; I would recommend you do the same, or else they'll probably fall apart on you.  Mine fell apart a little bit anyway and then individual corn kernels EXPLODED in the oil and sent oil flying everywhere.  NOT COOL MAN.  So watch out for that.


Tamagosan said...

Sure, you're *not* behind Thug Kitchen... Uh-huh.

FYI, palm trees are actually made up of tiny little crabs that have to die when you get the hearts, so I'm not sure this is veggie. Or at least that's the way it was on Guam. After beers. And what do I know, I'm a veggie who eats Dungeness and oysters...

PS I'm sure Jessica knows and just likes to let you think you have a chance. Wait, was that mean? I can never tell on the internet.

Anonymous said...

I was unaware of the struggle, but it's going to take some serious strategizing to top those crab cakes.

I also heard that figs are pollenated by a wasp that crawls into each fruit and DIES INSIDE. I really can't be held responsible for animals that voluntarily put themselves at such risk. Live by the sword and all that.

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