The best recipes from the kitchen of The Real Matt Daddy.

Poor Man's Crab Cakes

This is the perfect recipe if you have an "oops" zucchini.  What exactly is an "oops" zucchini?
Glad you ask.  Sometimes, a zucchini can grow very close to the ground or in between branches so that you don't really see it until it is HUGE.  When you finally discover it, you have no choice but to say "oops" as zucchini are traditionally picked when small (not by me though, I grow 'em large and in charge!).

What you will need is at least one large zucchini (or several small ones if you're buying from the store).  You want enough to make about 4 cups when shredded.  You will also need two large carrots, two cloves of garlic, one red bell pepper, 1/2 corn (either drained from a can, frozen or fresh off the cob!), and 1/2c. of diced scallions or green onions.  You will also need one egg and a binder such as bread crumbs, crackers, cracker meal, or diced bread pieces.  I also recommend 2T. of Thai fish sauce or soy sauce if you don't have fish sauce.

To prepare the zucchini, first peel the cut off the ends and then slice in half across the middle.  Use a veggie peeler to peel each of the halves.  Cut each half in half again, this time lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them.  Now you are ready to grate your zucchini.  Do not use the finest side of a four-sided grater, but use the side with the roughly 1/4" holes.  Grate all of the zucchini into a large mixing bowl.

Next, grate the carrots into the large bowl.  You can peel them if you like, but just washing is fine.  Finally, quarter your large red bell pepper and remove any seeds or flesh.  Carefully grate these quarters into the large mixing bowl.  You can do the same with other veggies if you want to, but this is usually the combination that I use.

Finely chop the garlic and onions, and add them to the mix followed by the corn, egg, and fish sauce.  I use a large wooden spoon to blend this all together, but you can use your fingers if you prefer.  Once you have a good mush going, start slowly adding your breading whether it is crackers, cracker meal, bread crumbs, or bread cubes.  You want to do this slowly so that the breading has time to absorb the moisture and you can stop adding when you have reached your desired consistency.  When you can form the mush into a ball and pat if flat without is falling apart, you are done mixing.  You may add seasoning if you want.  I like a lot of Old Bay in my cakes, but salt and pepper should be fine.

You can cook these cakes a few different ways.  If you want to be healthy, you can put them on a cookie sheet and bake or broil them.  You could deep fry them if you have the equipment.  The way I cook them is in a large skillet with hot oil.  Let them cook for a few minutes on each side until the cakes are brown and the centers are no longer mushy.  Remove from skillet and place on a plate covered with paper towels.  This will soak up any residual oil from frying.

Finally, you're ready to eat.  We dip our cakes in a Thai sweet chili sauce.  You can find this at most grocery stores now.  You can also dip them in salsa, hot sauce, or whatever you would normally put on a crab cake.

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