Chickpea “Crab” Cakes

Also known as… falafel.

This recipe, from the very nice folk at Food Network, made for a fine vegetarian dinner – yeh, I know, the cakes are fried – but compare this to fried chicken or a steak, and I think we are all good, here.

The pickled avocado was a nice touch, too.

What makes these “crab” cakes, I am guessing, is the use of Old Bay Seasoning, which works a treat here.

“Crab” Cakes:
•2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained
•1/4 cup liquid from the chickpea cans
•1/8 tsp cream of tartar
•1 tbsp lemon juice
•2 tsp Old Bay® Seasoning
•1 tsp Zippy Mustard
•2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
•2/3 cup Panko crumbs
•1/8 tsp Kosher salt
•2/3 cup all-purpose flour
•Canola oil, for frying

Tartar Sauce:
•1/4 cup mayonnaise
•1 tsp Zippy Mustard
•1/8 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
•3 tbsp chopped pickles
•1 tbsp pickle brine

Drain the chickpeas – don’t forget to save that 1/4 cup of canning liquid and set aside.

Add the cream of tartar to the canning liquid and whisk until foamy and thick.

Stir in the lemon juice, Old Bay® Seasoning, and the mustard until nicely blended – my immersion blender worked a treat here.

Stir this into the panko crumbs in a mixing bowl and set aside to rest for five or ten minutes to let the crumbs absorb the liquid.

Finely chop the chickpeas (I used a food processor) and stir into the soaked panko along with the chopped fresh parsley.

Squeeze the chickpea mixture together and shape into eight patties.

Arrange the patties on waxed paper, then cover and stash ’em in the fridge for at least one hour – you could do this the day before.

While the patties are cooling, stir the tartar sauce ingredients together in a small container, then cover and chill until needed.

When ready to cook the cakes, whisk the Kosher salt into the flour.

Add enough canola oil to cover a large, nonstick skillet and heat on medium high.

Dredge both sides of the cakes in the flour, then, working four at a time, cook in the hot oil for three minutes or so per side, until the cakes are nicely golden brown.

Transfer the cooked cakes to a platter and stash in a preheated 350º oven while you cook the remaining four cakes.

Note: I have always found the first set takes a bit longer and the second set takes a bit less time, so go ahead and adjust your heat if needed so the cakes don’t burn.

Serve the cakes with the tartar sauce, freshly sliced lemon, mebbe a nice salad, and, by all means, some of my fave Pickled Avocado.

We did not even miss the crab.

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