Monday, June 27, 2011

Tempeh "Crab Cake" with Zucchini-Corn Relish

I grew up in Maryland and spent many summers on the Chesapeake Bay.  I had friends who's parents owned a summer home on the waterfront and they would go out crabbing early in the morning and come back with about a bushel of crabs to steam.  However, I could never partake in the actual steaming because I always felt so sorry for the crabs and so I volunteered to make potato salad/cole slaw, grill the corn, or make strawberry shortcake. 

Even now, when I go back to Maryland to visit my family during the summer, and I see signs posted everywhere for steamed crabs it triggers such a feeling of nostalgia.  So I had to create a crab cake recipe that reminded me of summers back home and this crab cake does just that.  It's delicious either served on top of a salad, or on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce, just the way I remember it!

Tempeh Crab Cakes:

1 8 oz package whole grain organic tempeh
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced green onion
1 tbsp minced red onion
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp dried toasted Nori, (seaweed) ground to a powder in a spice grinder
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs, plus extra bread crumbs to coat
1/4 cup Vegenaise
2 tsp chipotle adobo sauce
2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon 
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Canola oil for frying

  • Cut tempeh in half and steam for about 15 minutes.  Let cool and grate on a box grater and place in a bowl.
  • Add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, mix wet ingredients and add to dry and combine well.
  • Using a 1/3 measuring cup, form into patties and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Just before frying coat with bread crumbs and fry on medium for about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Zucchini-Corn Relish:

1/4 cup Middle Eastern or Israeli couscous
1 medium zucchini, diced small
1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels removed from the cob
2 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Place couscous in a pot of boiling, salted water and cook until tender.  Rinse couscous really well and also drain well.  Set aside.
  • Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp olive oil and cook zucchini until charred and crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on a sheet pan to cool.
  • Add another tsp of olive oil to the pan and add corn kernels and cook until charred and crisp-tender as well.  Remove from pan and let cool.
  • Add zucchini, corn, couscous, basil and lemon juice to a bowl and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Charred Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp aged sherry vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat.  Add tomatoes and let cook until charred about 3-4 minutes, tossing once or twice.
  • While tomatoes are still warm, place them in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve crab cakes on a bed of watercress leaves, dressed lightly in the vinaigrette and top with zucchini-corn relish.  Enjoy

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