|The sauce tastes MUCH better than it looks ... I promise!|
A newly improved " crab" cake ... with even more improved not-so-secret sauce!
Ever have a family favorite that for one reason or another drops off the rotation for a long while, then when you finally get around to making it again you discover that your family's collective tastes evolved to the point that the recipe was not anywhere as good as you remember? It happened to us with these mock crab cakes. My family enjoyed them often, but for whatever reason we moved on, leaving the 'cakes behind.
Until now. The mock crab was mocking me in the refrigerated case, daring me to buy a package. Except this time, I recalled reading somewhere that regular crab meat gets shredded. Or maybe it was minced. Anyway, shredding seemed easier, so I figured, let's try and see what happens. Oh, as as for the Ritz crackers, I didn't remember to buy them so saltines happened. And red pepper was demoted to optional because theHubby doesn't eat 'em anymore.
Okay, now here's the not-so-secret: a jar of Peppadew peppers we received in a gift basket over the holidays that I finally found a use for.
So, you ask, what are Peppadews? And why is the name capitalized? Peppadew is the trademarked name of a type of sweet mini-pepper that resemble marinated cherry tomatoes. When you bite into a Peppadew, it gently bites you back (like a pinch of black pepper, not habañero). Even if you are the type that thinks catsup is spicy, you will love these babies. I enjoyed the peppy Peppadew sauce immensely. theHubby (see 2 paragraphs ago) enjoyed the crab cakes with a shot of bottled horseradish-and-dill sauce.
Mock Crab Cakes with Peppy Peppadew Sauce
Yield: 4 servings (8 crab cakes)
Note: if making in advance, prepare the 8 crab cakes, but do not bake. Cover and chill up to 1 day before continuing recipe. Sauce can be made in advance. Cover and chill up to 1 day.
1 pkg. imitation crab meat (454 gms., about 1 lb.)
20 no-salt top Saltine crackers (use dairy-free for a parve version)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 scallions, green part only, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise, divided
1/4 lightly-packed cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime, divided
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt , divided
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 pepperdew peppers (from a jar), drained (use 6 for a better bite)
Preheat oven to 400°. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet (or, alternatively, lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray). Set aside.
Using 2 forks, shred "crab" meat; place in a large bowl.
Coarsely crush crackers; stir into bowl. Add beaten eggs, scallions, pepper (if using), 1/2 cup of the mayo, parsley, juice from about 2/3 of a lime, 1 tsp. of the kosher salt, and pepper. Combine completely, then scoop out and shape into 8 patties, squeezing mixture to assure it hold together.
Place patties on prepared cookie sheet about an inch or two apart. Bake 10 minutes, then flip and continue baking another 8-10 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Meanwhile, place remaining mayo, lime juice and salt, along with the Peppadew pepper in a 1 quart mixing bowl. Puree with an immersion blender.
Place 2 mock crab cakes on each of 4 lunch plates. Spoon sauce over each; serve immediately.