Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crabless Crab Cakes

When I first read this recipe for crabless "crab" cakes made with zucchini, I immediately thought, You have got to be kidding!

Nonetheless, I decided to try this recipe because 1) I already had most of the ingredients listed, and 2) Contra Costa Times disclosed the name of recipe's creator - Barry Horton, head chef of Ravens' Restaurant.

I've never heard of Barry Horton. And I've never heard of Ravens' Restaurant. But, in the back of my mind, at least I had someone to blame if these crabless crab cakes ended up tasting awful.

To my surprise (and relief), I was very happy with the way they turned out. In fact, they tasted almost like the real thing, although they lacked the lumpy texture found in actual crab cakes.

I would certainly make this again. And again. And again.

Ravens' Restaurant Crabless Crab Cakes
Makes approximately 8 crab cakes (2 per person) or 18 mini crab cakes.

1/2 cup onions, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup trumpet royale mushrooms, peeled into julienned strips (I used oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped)
1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated on smallest setting of box grater (the grated zucchini will have a mushy appearance)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
1 egg white
2 cups (approximately) ultradry breadcrumbs or panko (I used panko)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except the olive oil, and mix together with a fork.

If the mixture in the bowl is too moist to form into patties, add more bread crumbs or panko until you are able to do so.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Take a 1/4 cup of the mixture (I formed larger patties with a 1/2 cup of the mixture) and form into 1/2-inch thick patties. Cook the patties in the skillet until lightly browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with tartar sauce (see recipe below).

Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dill relish
1/4 cup onions, finely diced

Mix together all of the ingredients.


Anonymous said...

Hello David,

I am happy to hear that you enjoyed my Crab-less Cakes. This recipe has found delight to many others, especially the ones you would least expect, carnivores. Oyster mushrooms are the younger relative of the trumpet, and i am sure worked out well. Did you try not using the egg white? I am a vegan chef. My recipes emphasize a cruelty-free, conscience way of eating, as well as, local and sustainable. I encourage you to also try my vegan sour cream recipe. I would be more than happy to share more recipes with you and your readers! I have recently began my own blog, yet it is in the beginning stages, I invite you to visit. Cheers. Enjoy.

Chef Barry Horton

DAVID said...

Chef Barry Horton,

Your comments on this blog are greatly appreciated!

I had thought about not using the egg whites, but then the recipe (as reported in the Contra Costa Times) stated that the texture of the crab cakes would improve "radically" with the egg whites. I will definitely try your vegan sour cream recipe. Lately, I've been trying to use more vegan ingredients.

As for the trumpet mushrooms, I could not find them at any regular supermarket nor could I find them at either Whole Foods or at My Organic Market (a local organic grocery store). I went with the oyster mushrooms, because they were closest in appearance to the trumpet mushrooms.

BTW: the menu at Ravens' Restaurant looks incredible. We really don't have this kind of upscale vegan/vegetarian-exclusive restaurant in the DC Metro area.


Anonymous said...

As a Marylander, I'm shocked but also oddly curious. I'll have to try this soon.

DAVID said...

@ Anonymous - you're reaction to this dish is, quite honestly, a reaction I STILL have whenever I'm reading certain vegan/vegetarian recipes. I'm, like, that looks sooo wrong, yet, what the hell - I'll try it!

hannah said...

Beautiful I will definitely make my way to Ravens Restaurant, and try this recipe using vegan ingredients

TK said...

I just wanted to drop in and leave a note about this recipe. I went shopping for it last week and forgot the Old Bay seasoning, so yesterday when I went shopping I remembered to grab some and give this recipe a try. OH BOY am I glad I did! I *loved* did my family! Thanks for all your great recipes and especially for this one! My husband said "If you made stuff like this every night, being a vegetarian would be WAY more fun" ;). LOL!

Anonymous said...

We made this vegan style last night, using Tofutti sour cream and Energy Egg Replacer and it was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this recipe! I've been a vegetarian for my entire life, and sometimes it's hard to come up with new, interesting ideas for dinner, but this one definitely hit the spot. My roommate made one of my leftover crab cake patties into a veggie burger and it was delicious too! My super picky vegetarian boyfriend loved when I added some extra spice (cayenne pepper & garam masala) to the recipe to kick it up a notch too. Thanks for the recipe!

Click here for Surprise Movers Service said...

Those crab cakes look so good. I know that my husband's family would love for me to make them some of these :) I