Shrimp Cakes

May 7 - May 10 - Costa Rica for family vaca

In prepping for my time out of town I knew making a few dishes that could be frozen and kept for the Boy to cook.  Don't misunderstand, the Boy is a very good and capable cook, but I know that getting him to cook just for one is something that doesn't always happen.  All I could think about as I planned my packing and the schedule for my trip is that 2 1/2 weeks is alot of wings and pizza.  On top of that I couldn't just leave the ladies in a lurch on my posting days, especially since as you read this one I'm somewhere in Costa Rica zip lining down from a volcano or horseback riding or relaxing in a hot spring. While doing all of this the last thing I wanted to worry about was posting.  So freezing some meals ahead allowed me to leave some good food for the Boy and have some recipes to share recipes that are great for freezing.

I found these shrimp cakes over on Simply Recipes, one of my go to recipe blogs, when we had shrimp scampi I few weeks ago.  I had a ton left over and wanted to be able to do something with the shrimp.  In my mind a shrimp cake should exist, but I honestly had no idea where to start.  What I love about this recipe is the pairing of the sweet potato with the shrimp and the spice blend is really great, it's actually what I used as a rub on my grilled flank steak.  I made about 2/3 of the cakes recipe, but gave you the full one, because it was all the shrimp I had.  I halved the spice blend because I knew I didn't need 1/2 cup of it but it was nice to have some left over.

I had a few of the cakes because I really wanted to to try them and froze the rest.  They are delicious and truly a great was to use left over shrimp and sweet potatoes. Hopefully the Boy feels the same and has made them for dinner!

Shrimp Cakes
adapted from Bon Appetit via Simply Recipes

1 lb sweet potatoes
4 large garlic cloves - unpeeled
4 Tbsps (or more) vegetable oil
8 oz peeled cooked shrimp - roughly chopped
2/3 cup cilantro - roughly chopped
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tbsps finely minced jalapeno
2 Tbsps finely minced onion
1 1/2 tsp spice blend (recipe below)
flour for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Pierce sweet potatoes all over, place on a cookie sheet and into the heated oven and roast for 1 hour.  Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the cookie sheet during the last 15 minutes of roasting. (If you have a microwave you can bake in the microwave for about 15 minutes until done. Rub one Tbsp of oil over unpeeled garlic. Cook in the microwave for a few minutes until soft.)  Remove from oven and let potatoes and garlic cool until you can handle them.
2.  Peel the garlic and place the cloves into a large bowl.  Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh and  add to the bowl. Mash together until smooth.
3.  Add the shrimp, cilantro, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion and spice blend to the mashed potatoes & garlic.  Mix until blended and season with salt as necessary. For the mixture into 6 3" cakes or 10 smaller cakes. (At this point you can place the finished cakes onto a cookie sheet and into the freezer for 4 hours until frozen. Then place in freezer bag.  Let defrost for 30 minutes before proceeding onto step 4.)
4.  Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly dust the shrimp cakes with flour. Heat 3 Tbsps of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches fry the shrimp cakes until nicely browned on each side.  Place the browned cakes on a cookie sheet and into the oven until heated through, about 5 minutes for fresh cakes, 10-15 for frozen.  Serve with lemon, tartar sauce & coleslaw.

Spice Blend
Makes about 1/2 cup

1/4 cup cumin seeds
3 Tbsps whole black peppercorn
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsps sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt

In a small skillet over medium heat toast the cumin, peppercorn and coriander until fragrant, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Transfer to a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder (you can clean it by running raw white rice in it), grin d until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and mix with the sugar & salt.