This month’s Food Network Friday was crab cakes by Paula Deen. It was a fun one to do – easy in some ways but quite hard as there are quite a few good versions of vegan crab cakes already out there (like the one in Vegan Brunch) and it was difficult not to copy, even subconsciously. I decided straightaway that I’d steer clear of tempeh and tofu as they seem to be the favourites. I thought about chickpeas or mashed potato but then I decided to use something a little unusual and lighter and eventually chose tinned artichokes as the base for the cakes.
Here’s what I did.
1 drained tin artichokes, finely chopped and dried
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp kelp powder
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and white pepper
2 tbsp vegan mayo
1/2 – 1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp oil
For the sauce:
1/4 cup vegan mayo
3/4 tsp fresh horseradish
1 tsp stoneground mustard
1 tsp chopped capers
Dash hot sauce
1/2 tsp caper brine
Put the artichokes through to the white pepper in to a large bowl and mix well together. Add the mayo and mix in. Then add the breadcrumbs. How much you need will depend on how dry you managed to get the artichokes. I used about 1/2 cup at first, but then when I began to form the cakes I needed to add about another 1/4 cup because it was still too wet. Refrigerate for about half an hour.
While the mixture is cooling, make the sauce by mixing together all ingredients and leaving for about 15 minutes for the flavours to meld together.
Take the artichoke mix and form it into cakes. You will get about 4 large cakes or about 10 smaller appetizer sized. The mixture will feel wet and a bit fragile but it’ll work out. Dust each side in flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and when hot, gently add the cakes. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
Serve with the sauce.
These worked really well. I’ve never eaten a crab cake but these were how I imagine them to be – light and tasty with a hint of the sea from the kelp. The sauce is delicious and the horseradish gives it an unusual lift. I’d definitely make these again.
I’m looking forward to see what everyone else comes up with too!