Yum Peaceful Cooking: Crabless Cakes

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Crabless Cakes

When my Food & Wine magazine arrived, boasting 25 vegetable dishes, my daughter was on it like bees on honey.

"Mom, we should go through this magazine and make all of the recipes!" Thank God she didn't mean, all of them on the same day. I mean, I like my vegetables and all, but for some reason they're kinda high maintenance. Lots of prep work. All that washing, drying, cutting.

I know...I am can be very lazy sometimes. I try not to be. But I can't help it.

This recipe does have quite a bit of prep work. Of course I did increase that a little by grilling the corn before using it. I figured since there was so much corn in these cakes, that the flavor would be a plus. Which it was. And I can say that the added step was worth it.

I didn't fire up the grill or anything. I just took a gas grill grate that I bought from the hardware store and plopped it on the stove top, over the flame...and grilled away. (works great for grilling peppers and such indoors as well).

Once they cooled off, I cut the kernels off the cob, and ended up with a little more than the needed 2 1/2 cups.

Crabless Cakes
Inspired by the August 2013 addition of Food & Wine magazine

1 TB Extra Light Olive Oil, plus more for frying
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears of corn)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced roasted red bell pepper (I used it from a jar)
15 oz can whole hearts of palm, drained, thinly sliced and diced
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
2 TB chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 TB plain dry gluten free bread crumbs, plus more for coating
Salt and Pepper

In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 TB olive oil over high heat. Add the corn, onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, until crisp tender.

(I could've used the green bell pepper as called for in the recipe, but I love the color variation.)

Take 1 cup of the sauteed mixture and pulse it in a food processor to create a course puree. 

Put the hearts of palm in a medium sized bowl. Using a fork, mash them into shards. Add the pureed corn mixture and the remaining sauteed corn mixture along with the Old Bay seasoning, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste (yes, you can taste it...its all veggies). Stir to combine so that everything is evenly moist. 

(Until making this recipe, I had no idea how good veganaise really is. I'm a Best Foods kind of gal, and I would not turn my nose up to the jar of Follow Your Heart Soy Free Veganaise that my daughter brought home. Good stuff!)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (no, you are not going to be baking these). Fill a pie plate or shallow, wide mouthed bowl with bread crumbs. Season the crumbs with a little salt and pepper. 

Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture, roll it in the bread crumbs to coat and then flatten it just a little to form a nice little fat 2" mound. You'll have about 18 cakes in the end (and very messy hands). 

(the cake in my daughters hand is too thin. Read the "tip" at the end of this post to see why that's an issue)

Using the same non-stick skillet, wiped clean and filled with 1/8' of oil, fry the cakes in batches over moderate heat.

Cook for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Be careful when flipping them, as they are a little on the fragile side. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate.

Wipe the skillet clean and use fresh oil for each batch until all the cakes are cooked.

Serve hot, over a nice bed or fresh greens.

These are a delicious alternative to crab cakes. Since my daughter is vegetarian and I'm allergic to shellfish, this was a great middle ground dish for the two of us. Because they are all vegetable, no meat, no egg, there were no worries about under cooking.

But let me give you a tip: I had originally envisioned flatter cakes that are a little crispy on the edges (kinda like potato pancakes). Don't go there. These are very delicate cakes and fall apart easily. Maybe adding a bit more veganaise would help? Or pureeing more of the corn mixture, instead of only 1 cup? Anyway, I highly recommend making the cakes fat rather than thin. My first batch, were thin. And looked beautiful.....until I tried to flip them

Thats when they fell apart and became a sort of hash. They still tasted great...but thats not what I was going for.

I eat the crumbs anyway.

Wishing I had some crumbled bacon to mix with it.


  1. My sister is a vegetarian and gave me a recipe using zucchini to make the "crab" cakes. This sounds very different/better than that recipe.

  2. You had me intrigued with that title. But I'd be eating these even if crab wasn't in the name. They look great.


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