Friday, August 05, 2011

Mock Crab Cakes

Chicken cakes, tomato salad, and cheesy grits
Recently I found myself with a ton of cooked meat in the fridge coupled with a real lack of imagination. Normally when there's 3/4 of a rotisserie chicken hanging around, I'd make tacos or toss the meat in a pasta dish, but I had done both of those too recently to try again. My one semi-original thought was to make some chicken croquettes, but when I realized their conical form requires deep frying, I dismissed it. I wasn't averse to shallow-frying, however, so I thought why not make a patty-shaped croquette? And spice it up with Old Bay. Kinda like a mock crab cake. But not really.

To go with the cakes, I put together a spicy tomato salad reminiscent of the one I had at Prune. The chicken cakes were pretty good, if a bit firmer and dryer than an actual crab cake, and the tomato accompaniment was an excellent way to make use of some of our little container garden's summer bounty.

Maryland-style Chicken Cakes

1 slice wheat bread, crumbled
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
about 3 cups roughly chopped (about half inch pieces) chicken or turkey
canola oil for frying

Mix bread, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, baking powder, Old Bay, mustard, parsley, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Mix in the chicken (hands work best for this). Form into 6-8 cakes, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate an hour or so before frying.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add about a tablespoon or so of canola oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Add chicken cakes to pan, but do not overcrowd. Cook cakes until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with tomato salad.

Spicy Tomato Pickles

1 pint small tomatoes (cherry, yellow pear, grape, etc.), cut in halves or quarters if large
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into rings
1 Hungarian wax or cubanelle pepper, quartered, deseeded, and sliced into 1/8" ribbons
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
salt and pepper

Place tomatoes and peppers in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, agave, coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over fruits and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Serve with chicken cakes.

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