Updated: Jan 19
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I'm a Christian Orthodox, and certain times of the year I am fasting. That's doesn't mean that I fast from all foods, just certain kinds of foods. It is a time in which we eat more simply and dedicate more time for spiritual growth. I enjoy having my friends from church over for dinner. During fasting periods, it is difficult to come up with an appetizing menu. We follow an almost vegan diet during fasts with the exception of shellfish, and on designated days in which fish is allowed. However, we do not use eggs, meat or dairy during this time period.
My husband often jokes with me, and says "How come you can't eat tilapia, but lobster is totally fine?" Funny, isn't it?
I developed this recipe a long time ago, and I like to serve it as an appetizer or as the main protein. Living in the Low Country we have access to fresh shrimp pretty much year around. The best shrimp I think are here. I love our local Sea Eagle Market, for its always fresh and they are always honest with me.
When it's comes to shrimp, here are the tips I like to follow to make sure they are fresh.
How to buy a shrimp?
I always like to buy super fresh raw or live shrimp. Buying with the head on can ensure that they have never been frozen. Plus, head on shrimp can provide a lot of flavors for stock or sauce. I never recommend buying pre-cooked shrimp for any recipe for it is consistently overcooked and has a very bland taste.
How to thaw shrimp?
To thaw frozen shrimp take them out of the bag and place in a bowl under cold running water. They will be good in 10-15 minutes. Or place them in a bowl of cold water and let them rest until they are completely defrosted. Then dry shrimp on paper towels before using in a recipe.
What do I like about this recipe?
Any raw shrimp fresh or frozen will work, using any size of shrimp.
These shrimp cakes can be frozen for future rush dinners.
Easy to make and they don't have a lot of fillers.
They can be served with any vegetable side or rice.
Can be used as the main protein or as an appetizer.
Only a few ingredients are needed. Note: The herbs in this recipe provide a beautiful flavor and provide health benefits. Plus, homemade old bay seasoning will give you a great taste and not harm your health with additives like MSG, sugar, etc.
Why shrimp is great for you?
Shrimp are high in nutritional value. While some people blame this protein for high cholesterol content, I prize them for many other reasons. Please, read this latest study about dietary cholesterol and why you shouldn't worry about dietary cholesterol. It is only wild-caught shrimp of which I am discussing for they don't contain any chemicals or added antibiotics. They are low in calories, and high in protein and healthy fats. They are a great source of vitamin B12, which is especially important for vegetarians. Also, the mineral content is very impressive, as well. Shrimp are high minerals such as magnesium, zinc, niacin, phosphorus, iron, iodine, and selenium.
Notes on freezing and serving.
Just like regular meatballs, shape them into patties and then they are ready to freeze.
Place them on wax paper and then put them into freezer. After a few hours transfer patties to freezer bags and return to the freezer. When you are ready to cook, place them on a pan for no defrosting is required. They make for an easy and delicious meal which can be prepared in a few minutes.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Serves: 6 cakes
1 lb. raw shrimp
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
6 green onion springs
1/2 sticks of celery
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumps
2 teaspoons old bay seasoning (I used homemade. See this post)
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard
lemon wedges for serving (optional)
Cream fraiche or sour cream for serving (optional)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon of butter
Olive oil for frying cakes.
Chop the celery, green onions (white part only) very fine and to the pan with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon of butter, add salt and black pepper. Sauté for a few minutes.
2. Peel shrimp, add half to the food processer and reserve the other half.
3. Along with the shrimp, add to the food processor bread crumps, yellow mustard, and pulse a few times or until the mixture looks like a paste.
4. Chop the rest of the shrimp with knife into pea size pieces.
5. In the bowl add chopped shrimp, parsley, chopped green onions (green part only), old bay seasonings, and sauté mixture, and lemon zest. Mix all together, add a few turns of black pepper and salt. Add the last of the paste mixture to the bowl and give a good mix.
6. Shape 6 patties by hand.
7. To the non-stick pan add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil and gently place 3 patties into the pan. Cook on low-medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with next 3 patties.
Serve immediately and enjoy!