About this time last summer, when everyone was inundated with zucchinis (zounds! zillions!) and seeking something new to do with them, I found this curiously appealing recipe on the ‘net. The blogger (Alas, I have no clue whom to credit!) posted a compelling account, attesting to the veritable crabbiness of these faux cakes. I saved the recipe, but did not get around to trying it until New Years Eve. That’s when Bill and I host our Community Lobster Pot Dinner–which is a whole other story.
Anyway–I wanted to serve Bill, our avowed vegetarian, something “seafoody” while the rest of us were tearing into our lobster tails, dousing sweet chunks in cayenne lemon butter. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the zucchini faux crabcake.
The cakes were simple to make. I augmented the recipe slightly with the addition of green onion, red bell pepper, and hot red pepper flakes and whipped up a little remoulade to accompany.
When it came time to serve that course, an odd thing happened at the dinner table. The guests, with their delectable tails set before them, looked with longing at Bill’s plate of cakes.
“Those look fabulous. Can I have a bite?”
“Wow. These are great.” “I want one.” “Do you mind? Are there extras?”
And so on.
What happened was this: each person had a case of Faux Crab Cake envy.
Now, as cook, I was preoccupied with all the aspects of the meal and did not really sample the zucchini cakes–not enough to confirm their greatness. But, I decided that once the droves of zucchinis descended in August, I would make the faux crabcakes again.
And, here we are.
Verdict: These are very, very good. But, Better than Real Crabcakes? Well, perhaps not—but they were way-superior to many “real crabcakes” that I’ve had the disappointment to dine on in many places, and way more affordable.
Zucchini Faux-Crab Cakes
2 cups coarsely grated Zucchini
1 cup Bread Crumbs (I used a baguette)
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced–use entire scallion
Â¼ cup small diced Sweet Red Bell Pepper
1 Â½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise (or plain yogurt)
Juice of Â½ Lemon
a pinch or 2 Red Pepper flakes
vegetable oil, for frying with a smidge of butter
Place grated zucchini in a colander; sprinkle lightly with salt, allow to stand for 30 minutes,draining. Squeeze to remove additional liquid – zucchini should be fairly dry. Place zucchini, bread crumbs, with all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Form into 8 patties the size of crab cakes.
Heat a small amount of oil and butter in a skillet, and cook patties on both sides, browning well. Drain on paper towel.
1 clove Garlic
1 Egg, room temperature
Â½ t. Dijon Mustard
Â½ t. Lemon zest
Â½ t. Orange zest
1 t. Lemon juice
1 t. Orange juice
Â½ t. Salt
1 cup Olive Oil
Place all the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil into a food processor fitted with the swivel blade.
Process for about a minute to break down the garlic into the other ingredients. Then, slowly pour the olive oil into the mix while processing. The mixture will become thick, like mayonnaise (which is what is basically is.)