Monday, May 3, 2010

Shrimp Cakes with Lemon-Caper Aioli

If you like crab cakes, and you like shrimp too, then you will like this variation!!! These are made from all fresh ingredients! No frozen, processed, or added ingredients!!! They are a bit spicy because of the cayenne peppers, so make sure you don't have children who want to eat them, ah-hem, oops!!!

I will print the whole recipe below, but the first step is to brown these three ingredients - green onions, shallots, and a red or orange pepper until tender, and then set aside.

I'm not gonna lie, there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, and it takes quite awhile to prepare, so make sure you have time and be prepared to LET THIS SIT OVERNIGHT!!! It's not just for the flavors to develop, it is for the mixture to set and be firm enough to work with!! So Plan Accordingly!!!

In this step, you are cutting up the shrimp that you have cooked as well as the fresh herbs, parsley and dill. I love fresh herbs!! And this is the first time I worked with fresh dill!!

This is what the finished pureed shrimp mixture looks like, and you also add the herbs and cut up cooked shrimp!! It looks wonderful, all those bright fresh colors from the produce!!

After this sits overnight, you form the mixture into little shrimp cakes. It helps if your husband has the kids at the park so you can focus on this gooey mixture in between your fingers and how quiet the apartment finally is.

Finally, you evenly coat each shrimp cake with bread crumbs. It calls for regular or homemade bread crumbs. Confession: I cheated and bought these, actually I double cheated because these are Italian bread crumbs that I already had in the pantry. But they worked fine!!

Then you just fry these babies up! Don't they look delicious?? I also made a Lemon-Caper Aioli the night before as well, since this has to sit overnight too. It made for a good dipping sauce, though it is a little overpowering. It is yummy but the shrimp cakes are also good just plain since they have such a rich flavor and you don't get all the elements when you use the sauce. So it is up to you!! It is certainly less work to not make the Aioli, and the cakes are moist enough that they don't need it.

Here is the full recipe:

Shrimp Cakes

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup minced scallions, including white and 3 inches of green
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 small red or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/8 inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 lbs. small raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large egg white
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup minced fresh dill
1 cup fine, dried bread crumbs, store-bought or homemade
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

1. Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add scallions, shallots, and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Place a third (about 1/2 lb.) of shrimp in a food processor. Add the egg white and run the machine continuously until the shrimp is pureed. Add the cream and pulse to blend. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mayo, cayenne, and salt and pulse briefly to blend.

3. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a bowl, add scallion mixture, and stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 lb. of shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, turning the shrimp occasionally, until they are completely pink and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of the shrimp. Drain the shrimp in a colander, and let them cool.

5. Cut the shrimp into small pieces, about 1/3 inch dice. The shrimp cakes should have chunks of shrimp, but if they are too large, the cakes will not hold together.

6. Add the diced shrimp, parsley, and dill to the pureed shrimp mixture and stir to combine. Cover the bowl again and refrigerate the shrimp mixture until it is firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

7. Spread bread crumbs on a plate; form the shrimp mixture into cakes 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Dip cakes in bread crumbs and coat them all over.

8. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Making sure the shrimp cakes don't touch, cook the cakes in batches until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the cakes over and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Serve hot with the lemon-caper Aioli (optional) and with lemon wedges.

Lemon-Caper Aioli

2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large egg yolks, at room temp
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 Tbs. minced drained capers
Grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Place garlic, mustard, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and process until the garlic is minced, about 15 seconds.

2. With the machine running, add the olive and canola oils in very slow, steady streams and run until smooth and thick.

3. Transfer to a small bowl and add 1 Tbs of hot water. Whisk to blend. Add the capers and lemon zest and stir to blend. (It's okay if it separates, whisking it will combine it back together.)

4. Refrigerate the Aioli, covered, until the flavors develop, at least 6 hours. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

This recipe was taken from Food to Live By by Myra Goodman of Earthbound Farm.



  1. Crazy...I know you enjoyed them after mulling over the recipe that That recipe has more in it than I'd ever desire to cook with! :) I can see why the work was so hard. Great job though...they looked amazing. :)

  2. Thanks Jess!! Although it was a lot of work, they were good, and Tad loved them!!! Thanks for putting up with me while I "slaved" over them!! ha ha.