September 14, 2011 | Vegetables
This past week I was testing a recipe for crab cakes that will be in the cookbook I’m working on – they were delicious, but even the scaled back quantity I made from the restaurant recipe yielded enough to feed 10 people. That’s turning out to be the single biggest challenge of testing recipes for the book: what to do with all of the food?! I hate wasting food, so since we were having friends over this weekend, I figured I’d serve the crab cakes then. But then I remembered, my one friend has recently turned vegetarian. I don’t mind cooking vegetarian for people, but I also know many people (my husband included) will think the menu is incomplete without the meat.The other thing is I kind of like the overall dinner to hold together as a single theme instead of having one set of dishes I’m serving to most of the group, then a separate meal for the vegetarian. It feels like you’re drawing attention to them – or treating them like they should be seated at the kids’ table or something. So, an easy fix is to have a vegetarian and protein based version of the same thing: crab cakes. The rest of the meal was all vegetarian: Sweet Corn Soup with Cilantro Puree (will be in the cookbook), a simple cabbage slaw, and Corn and Black Bean Relish. Everything was good. Everyone was happy. Success!
- ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, grated
- ¼ cup plain yogurt, Greek variety is best
- ¼ cup mayonnaise, light or regular
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Southwest Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs, or panko
- canola oil, for frying
- Combine onion, celery, pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and seasonings in a bowl and stir to combine. Stir in eggs, then stir in bread crumbs. Shape into 8 patties and fry over medium heat in ¼ inch of oil until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce or roasted red pepper aioli.