Moosewood Restaurant Favorites and Shrimp Cakes

shrimp cakes

One of my most favorite cookbooks is the Moosewood Restaurant Favorites Cookbook.  The Moosewood Restaurant is located in Ithaca, New York, and first opened its doors about 40 years ago.  Bon Appetit Magazine said Moosewood Restaurant is “One of the 13 most influential and revolutionary restaurants of the 20th Century…Moosewood changed American dining forever.”  The Moosewood collective cooks and chefs created their ever-changing menu based on seasonable produce and regional cuisines, introducing a plant-based/vegetarian diet, fresh and seasonal eating, and eating whole foods at a time when vegetarianism was considered a hippie and “far-out” lifestyle (and not the cool kind of “far-out”), and when grocery stores were not as well-stocked as they are today.

We are so lucky–we can walk into any grocery store and find fresh herbs, five different kinds of apples, leafy greens, and peppers, and ten types of whole grains readily available.  In a fast-food and convenience-centered world, it is so accessible and convenient to be plant-based today, more than ever before.  In my opinion, Moosewood gets all the credit for the delicious beginnings of the plant-based lifestyle.

I love that their cookbooks have fresh and doable recipes, and I don’t have to spend oodles of money to change my pantry and get crazy-health ingredients to whip something up in 20 minutes for dinner.  Although they are known for being a mainly vegetarian/vegan establishment, they do offer fish entrees on their menu, and have included a whole fish section in this cookbook.  I adapted my shrimp cakes from their Fish Cakes recipe–if you love more fish than breading in your cakes, this is the recipe for you.


SHRIMP CAKES

  • Servings: 6 cakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The original Moosewood Restaurant Favorites Cookbook calls for 1 1/2 pounds of any firm fish fillets.  I have adapted this recipe using all shrimp.  The cakes freeze well and reheat easily in the oven without getting dry.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle mayonnaise (vegan is preferred)
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. While the oil is heating, form the shrimp cakes.  I use a #6 ice cream scoop (which measures almost 11 tablespoons), but you could also just eye-ball it and divide the mixture into equal-sized balls in the bowl.  Press the ball firmly, ensuring it sticks together, and gently flatten it into a patty shape.  Place in pan to start cooking.
  4. If you have a large enough pan, you should be able to cook all six patties at once.  Remember the recipe calls for raw shrimp, and these patties are pretty thick–about 1″ in thickness.  Give them time to brown nicely and cook all the way through, about 5 minutes on each side.

To serve, you can top with yummy Mango Guacamole, serve on a bed of greens, top it as a “burger” on a bun, sautéed veggies on the side, rice–whatever you have ready to hit the plate!

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