ARTICHOKE CRABLESS CAKES with a cashew cream tartar sauce | recipe

A warm day here and there, spring can be a real tease. I want the heat now, and it's got me craving, salty beachy seaside flavors. There's something both soothing and exciting about the culmination of salt, fat and acidity. Maybe it's oral memory from childhood trips to a snack shack on the beach, or maybe those are just characteristics of all things associated with the ocean.

I don't know what it is, but I'm always on a mission to find ways to recreate the tastes of my former summers, Because my love for the ocean and her palette compel me to protect her bounty.  I could not love the ocean whilst supporting the industry causing her the most harm, just for a taste preference.

Now, I get the stigma around calling vegan meat substitutes something they aren't. But these cakes evoke such crabbiness I hardly think anyone will mind, and if you don't tell them what they are, they might not even guess they are crabless.

Ingredients

For the cakes:

2 can water-packed artichokes, drained and chopped 

1-2 stalks celery (about 1/4 cup), finely chopped 

1 shallot (about 2 tbs), finely chopped 

2 tbs parsley, finely chopped

2 tsp chives, finely chopped

2 tsp coconut sugar

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp old bay

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (a vegan one)

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 ts garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup almond flour (or chickpea or whole wheat)

1/4 cup cashew cream

2 cups panko bread crumbs

frying oil (optional)

For the cashew cream:

1 cup soaked cashews

1/2 cup water

1 tbs lemon juice

1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

For the tartar sauce:

remaining cashew cream

1-2 tbs fresh dill, finely chopped

1 tbs chives, finely chopped

1 tbs sweet relish (optional)

1 tbs lemon juice

ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. If frying, bring 1 1/2 cups oil up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Process ingredients for cashew cream in a high powered blender until completely smooth and set aside.
  3. Combine artichokes, vegetables, spices and seasonings for the cakes plus flour, 1/4 cup of panko and 1/4 cup of cashew cream. Mix until ingredients are well distributed.
  4. Using a 1/3 cup measure, portion out 4 crab cakes and form a nice round, thick cake with your hands and gingerly toss them in panko, shaking off any excess before placing them on a non-stick or parchment paper lined baking tray or carefully lowering them into your frying oil and frying until browned on all sides.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or fry for 3-4 minutes, flipping half way.
  6. While your cakes are cooling combine ingredients for the tartar sauce in your blender already containing the cashew cream. Pulse 3-4 times or until ingredients are mixed but not too processed. 
  7. Serve it up! These cuties are delicious standing alone with a dollop of tartar sauce but are also incredible slapped between two halves of a bun with some lettuce, tomato and whatever other sandwich fixings you love. You can also get creative with the size and serve these little buggers as an appetizer!

Serving: 4 large cakes, 3-4" in diameter Prep time: about 15 minutes Cook time: 25 or 4 minutes