Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipe #28: Seafood Cakes with Lemon Creme Sauce

I was very excited to try this recipe I found in one of my new cookbooks, The Wine and Food Lover's Diet. It's a variation of a crab cake that's healthier. The recipe originally calls for crème fraîche, which is a pretty expensive variation of sour cream that I couldn't find at Giant Eagle. I decided to wing it and see how regular sour cream turned out, and much to my delight, it went perfectly with the cakes.

There is one downside to this, which I anticipated even before starting to prep. The idea of putting raw shrimp and raw scallops in a food processor and blending it into a paste just really made me cringe, both for the sight of it (it's a texture thing with me) and the smell (mmm raw seafood... *gag*).... but judging by the picture in the cookbook, I decided it would be worth a try, and I'm so glad I did. And believe me, I did feel the gag reflex coming on after I created the paste, but it all worked out in the end. The seafood cakes were fantastic, and I am so happy with how they turned out!


2oz sea scallops (about 1/8lb)
4oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/4lb)
1/2c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I just used what I had in the fridge for pasta)
1 egg
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper (I used black since I couldn't find white)
1 jalapeno chile, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly grated zest of 2 lemons (I only used 1, most in the cakes and then the rest in the sauce)
5-6oz cooked crabmeat, picked over and shells removed (I found a can in the seafood section at Giant Eagle that's about 15oz, so I used half of the can in the mixture.)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)


In a food processor, combine the scallops, shrimp, Parmesan, egg, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until a smooth paste forms. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into a bowl. Fold in the jalapeno, cilantro, and the zest of one lemon (save some for the sauce). Fold in the crabmeat, being careful to not break up the chunks of crab too much. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining lemon zest, the lemon juice, and the sour cream. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers. Spoon the seafood mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, into the pan, being careful not to be spattered by the hot oil. You should have 8 cakes. (Tip: Before adding to the pan, I divided the mixture into 8 equal sections on wax paper so it would be easier to add to the pan quickly. I highly recommend this.) Cook until light golden brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the cakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes. Remove the cakes to paper towels to drain briefly.

Plate the cakes and serve with the lemon sour cream sauce on top.


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