Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Veghead Mock Bolivian Crab Cakes???

Hi all,
I am new to the blog and this is my first entry. Many years ago I "went vegetarian" and have been playing with food ever since - learning to cook and reinvent many traditional dishes. One of our favorites is a meatless version of Maryland Crab Cakes - what we call Mock Crab Cakes. When I began making these I used artichoke hearts and parsley. And then we moved to Bolivia and both artichoke hearts and parsley (the kind we find here at least) were not that easy to find. But they did have things such as palm hearts and cilantro in abundance. So my fusion today is to combine two typical South American products in a not so typical Mock Crab Cake!!

So the ingredients are:1/2 of a large sweet onion (Vidalia, Peru Sweets, etc.) minced
2 cloves garlic minced
one 25oz. jar or two 10oz. cans palm hearts - drained and rinsed (luckily palm hearts today are mostly from plantations and the native populations are not as pressured for harvest!)
A handful of Cilantro minced
2-3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2-3 eggs (compliments of our chickens who we call "the Girls")
Approximately 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs, stuffing mix, or crushed crackers
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Heat about 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute until just transparent.

Add in the Old Bay and mix well. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the palm hearts and cilantro - mix well and then add salt and pepper to taste.

Then mix in the eggs and gradually start adding in the bread crumbs - adding just enough to form a nice sticky paste. I form this into 3" rounds and I usually make them about 1 inch thick. Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to cover the bottom and heat. Brown the patties on both sides and drain on paper towels.

I serve these with a fresh "tartar sauce" that has a nice zing to it:

The other half of the sweet onion minced very fine
2tsp prepared brown mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup light mayo
1 tsp horseradish
1 tsp cilantro
1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

I serve these on some lettuce and topped with the tartar sauce. Hubby Todd always needs hot sauce on these and daughter Lily must have ketchup (on these and on everything else). So here is the finished plate!!!

And the verdict is.........................


  1. This is fantastic! It sounds wonderful and is awesomely inventive! definatley going to try it!

  2. looks and sounds awesome. I have some heart of palm and panko in my cupboard that are now begging to be used. Also, where would the culinary world be without Old Bay? In a flavorless void I would bet.

  3. Fascinating! And delicious! Looks great-- well done, and welcome!