Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another Southern Specialty

I figured I'd follow up last night's low country treat with another Southern specialty, shrimp cakes. It's the kind of cozy, casual, hearty dish that just feels right on a lazy Sunday and I happened to have a fridge full of just the right ingredients left over from last night's dinner with friends.
I'm not sure why more of the country doesn't eat shrimp cakes on a regular basis. It's not like people aren't lining up at Red Lobster for shrimp in all forms, but these quickly pan fried burgers have seemed to stay local. Around Georgia and the Carolinas (and probably Louisiana too) -- almost anywhere with a tradition of shrimping boats gathering a wild harvest you'll find these tasty cakes on menus and in home kitchens. Not too different from crab cakes I make my shrimp burgers with chopped cooked shrimp (1 lb), breadcrumbs (1 cup -- I used last night's leftover cornbread -- cornbread adds a lot of flavor -- and biscuits as my crumbs), chopped scallion (3), minced bell pepper (2 TB), chopped parsley (3 TB), lemon zest (about 1 tsp), tabasco (a good shot), mayonnaise (just enough to hold the mixture together -- about 3 TB), 1 egg, and a good sprinkle of old bay seasoning. I had one ear of corn left in the fridge so I added in about half the fresh corn kernels and formed my shrimp mixture into patties that I let chill in the fridge for a couple hours before sautéing a pan with a shimmer of canola oil. I love the crispy edges doused with spicy cocktail sauce.
On the side a quick salad of steamed green beans, arugula, tomatoes and radishes dressed in a sherry vinegar mustard vinaigrette.
A little down home goodness for a late summer weekend.

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