Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

 Here's another fabulous zucchini recipe that thinks just slightly outside the box. Yes, you can saute zucchini with olive oil and garlic, you can make zucchini bread, and you can make zucchini pancakes. But did you ever think of using zucchini instead of crab?
 I first heard of this from my brother, Dennis. As soon as he mentioned it, I began looking for just the right recipe. Well, of course, there are a million versions, and every one of them claims to be THE BEST. Clearly, the only way to settle this would be to come up with my own version! So I looked at a few different recipes, kept what I liked, changed what I didn't like, combined a few things, omitted a few others, and this was the result! Now, I'd be lying if I said they taste JUST like lump crab Maryland Crab Cakes. But, ya know what? They tasted pretty darned good! I'd definitely say they're better than you're standard grocery brand of frozen crab cakes. They're just the right texture, and between the mayonnaise, the Dijon and the Old Bay, they really do taste like crab cakes. Plus, you get to adjust the seasoning to suit your own taste. and that's always a good thing.
 So give these a try. I betcha you'll love 'em, especially if you're usually not able to eat crab or other shellfish! They're awesome!

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg beaten 
2 tbs soft butter
1/4 cup finely minced onion 
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (may add more) 
1 heaping tbs mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard 
Salt and pepper

1 cup Panko bread crumbs (for dredging)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying) 

 Sprinkle grated zucchini with a tsp of salt. Place in colander and allow to drain for at least 30 minutes. Place zucchini in the center of a clean kitchen towel. Gather the corners together and twist the bundle so that it tightens around the zucchini, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. You will absolutely be amazed at how much liquid comes out of the zucchini! Place the zucchini in a large bowl along with seasoned bread crumbs. Toss to combine. 
 In a separate small bowl, stir together the egg, butter, onion, Old Bay, mayonnaise, and mustard. Stir egg mixture into the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and give it another good stir.
 Form into 6 patties. Place Panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge each cake in the crumbs being sure it is coated on all sides. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry the cakes in the oil (in batches if you need to) until golden, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve immediately!

 These cakes go beautifully with tartar or cocktail sauce, just as with regular crab cakes. To make home made tartar sauce, simply mix a few tbs mayonnaise with a tbs or two of pickle relish. Easy!
Yes, I know I have two different kinds of bread crumbs listed. The seasoned bread crumbs add great flavor and bulk to the mixture and the Panko bread crumbs give you a crispy outside crust! Yes, you can clearly use one or the other for both parts of the recipe. No worries!

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