Saturday, January 31, 2015

Eats: Zucchini "Crab Cakes"

Hello! I like crab cakes, but don't like how expensive they can be. Thus, when I saw a recipe for mock crab cakes using zucchini, I set it aside to try sometime. 

That "sometime" became this week, starting with a purchase of zucchini from the reduced produce rack at the grocery store. The marked-down zucchinis were on the small side, so I thought they'd work well in this recipe. 

I made the "crab cakes" today and they turned out well! They were easy to make and quite tasty. I did make several changes to the recipe, though. I'll give you the recipe first, then mention what I did differently. 

Zucchini "Crab Cakes" (adapted from a recipe by Shirley B. Bowles, Wyoming, Delaware, that appeared in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook)

2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (see notes below)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (I used Old Bay)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients together and pat into cakes. Fry in an oiled skillet or deep fryer. Serves 4 to 6. 

Notes: I don't use seasoned bread crumbs, so for this recipe I used some cereal crumbs I had stashed in the freezer, plus 2 tablespoons  soy grits, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and some wheat germ. I just used enough of everything to equal the 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs called for the recipe. But if you have seasoned bread crumbs on hand, by all means use them!

I added the soy grits (partially cooked, cracked soybeans) to increase the protein count of the "crab cakes", since zucchini has less protein in it than crab does. Soy grits have a very mild taste, so they worked well in this recipe. 

I beat the eggs first in a mixing bowl, then added the rest of the ingredients and mixed everything together. 

To avoid the mess and calories of frying, I baked my "crab cakes" instead. To do this, I preheated the oven to 400, then lined a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup measure, I scooped the mixture onto the baking sheet. (I ended up with nine "crab cakes"). I sprayed the tops of the "crab cakes" with cooking oil spray and baked for 10 minutes. 

After the 10 minutes were up, I turned the "crab cakes" over with a small spatula, sprayed the tops with cooking oil spray, then set the timer for another 10 minutes. When time was up, I had these:

The zucchini mixture had seemed a little "wet" when I formed it into the cakes, but the eggs and "bread crumbs" must have helped bind everything together. The "crab cakes" baked up beautifully - they didn't fall apart and were crispy enough on top that I didn't miss the frying step at all. 

Since it's been so long since I've had a real crab cake, I can't say how close these taste to the real thing. I doubt that they would fool anyone, but zucchini "crab cakes" are fine as they are!

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