A little bit of cooked bulgur helps to bind the ingredients and make the cakes heartier--plus, it adds some whole grain.
1 whole garlic head
7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, divided
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1/2 cup cooked bulgur
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil over garlic; wrap in foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze into a small bowl to extract pulp. Discard skins. Mash garlic using the back of a spoon. Stir in yogurt, juice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Place 3 shrimp and 2/3 cup beans in a food processor; pulse until blended but not quite pureed. Add remaining shrimp, remaining beans, bulgur, cilantro, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt to food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Fill a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup with shrimp mixture. Invert onto a platter lined with parchment paper; gently pat into a 2 1/2-inch-wide patty. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp mixture, forming 8 cakes. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler to high.
Brush a jelly-roll pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange chilled cakes on pan; brush tops of cakes with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Broil 5 minutes or until browned. Carefully turn cakes over. Brush tops of cakes with oil from pan. Broil an additional 5 minutes or until browned. Serve cakes with sauce.
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Just made it today and tasted tested one before serving it to my family. What a big disappointment. I will drop some lemon juice and more spices on it before I cook the rest. Really wanted this to be good.
I wanted to like this recipe, and generally I consider Bittman to be a guarantee that it'll work well, as "How to Cook Everything" is a frequent reference in this house. But no. There needs to be more egg or another binder, and honestly, I think it'd have been a more pleasing consistency if it were pan cooked so it could become crispy. I did reheat some leftovers in a pan with cooking spray and it's much nicer, but still a bit bland. I don't know what it is that fails this recipe so much, but it needs a lot of help, and I'm only giving it 2 stars because if you changed A LOT about it, it does technically have potential. ;)
My family called these sawdust burgers. They were all right and edible, but definitely not worth the effort. I agree that the bulgur overpowered the other flavors. I may have had the mixture in the food processor a bit long as well. The sauce was good, but I did add more lime juice.
These are a great idea, and they come together pretty well, but the flavor of the bulgur overpowers the shrimp, making the shrimp seem like a pretty costly filler (which is not how I like my shrimp...). Perhaps leaving the bulgur out? I'm not sure, and I'm not sure if I'll give it another whirl--it was a pretty time consuming recipe (even though I did most of the prep work while the garlic was roasting and then made the sauce while the cakes were in the broiler, seems a pretty efficient way to get things done in a slightly more timely manner) and kind of expensive too (at least for me). Maybe the suggestion to use quinoa instead of bulgur is the way to go as the flavor isn't as big, and maybe a different shrimp to bean ratio to bump up the flavor.
I liked the thought of this recipe as lump crab meat is hard to come by for crab cakes. I think with some doctoring it could be better as it had a good foundation. The texture worked for me. I used quinoa instead of bulgur. I added more lime to sauce. It needed heat. My family put Sriracha on it. Next time I think I would add basil oregano and hot pepper flakes, or more cilantro and add a jalapeno. We also thought in needed less beans and more shrimp. I may work on this a bit more.