Monday, August 15, 2011

Yet another top five: Chesapeak Tempeh Cakes!

 Good evening! This recipe, though it doesn't taste like alaskan king snow crab 90% meat cakes, will remind you of crab cakes nonetheless in a great nostalgic way. Crab cakes, as I remember them can be million dollar patties of crisp on the outside, succulent on the inside, unadulterated joy. OR they can be defrosted, breadcrumb dominant, $1.99/two dozen soggy little bastards. This recipe totally trumps the mush, but  because we choose not to use animals anymore, can't quite measure up to the best. Fortunately this recipe IS online, which means I won't have to type it up. (CLICK HERE) 

     I think the only changes I make is that I double the recipe because it's so good you need more for later. This is a bit labor intensive, in my opinion. The mashing, the finely dicing of the pepper, the mixing, the forming, the panko-ing, then you get to fry them finally. But honestly, though it seems intense, it comes together really quickly once the mashed tempeh is cool, plus the cooling time allows you to do all the dishes from the day. WOOT.
      The other change I make is, instead of crumbling the tempeh, I just dice it it up, as you can see in the second picture. There you can see the small dice steaming happily away with it's bay leaf friends. Dicing seems faster than crumbling into tiny bits, though I'm sure having to wash the knife and cutting board negates some of that time saved. Crumbling always frustrates me though, so I dice and be happy. 
      Third picture here is me using a potato masher to mash it up into a pasty substance. I also feel this saves time,
rather than using a fork to mash.
      Then, here we have two patties formed, the panko bowl, in which they are pankoed (It's a verb now, I declare it so), and the bowl of all the ingredients mixed up. I  used to skip the TBL of hot sauce in the cakes, because I have a 7 year old who has always been able to detect ANY spicy substance in her food, to the parts per trillion level. I began adding it in, and 1) noticed how much better the cakes stay together with that extra liquid and 2) child actually hasn't noticed, though I have been workin her to accept that a little spicy isn't necessarily bad, for a few years.  Then there's my gorgeous browning cakes almost ready fer eatin. DEFINITELY, definitely make the remoulade. It is an essential piece to this recipe. You cannot NOT eat them together, unless you are 7 and have plain veganaise instead. The remoulade IS pretty spicy, so you can scale back the hot sauce a little if you're not all that into a kick in the taste buds. I totally am into that though. I hate when blogger doesn't let me type next to ALL the pictures, only the first few. What is going on that I now HAVE to type in between?
Anywho, this gets a "VERY satisfied carrot woman"!!! The blend of spices and ingredients is very ingeniously created, but I know better than to expect less than genius from the Moskowitz. Ginger and red wine and those other things DO smell like crab cakes somehow. Bottom line, these may not be crab cakes, but they are one of my favorite meals, and it's amazingly impressive (or profoundly depressing, if you are Mrs. Pauls or Gorton) that these crabLESS cakes taste WAY better, and MORE like crab, than those frozen crap cakes, NOW with 2% real crab organs!

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