I love a good fish cake, crab cake, even clam cake. There’s something so sensuous about biting through a crispy crust into a tender morsel infused with delicate flavor. Smear it with a good tartar sauce, aioli or ketchup; use plenty of napkins, that’s my kind of street food heaven.
To hold together, these seafood croquettes depend upon a binder; often bread crumbs or mashed potato, mixed with liquids. Well-seasoned, then dipped in egg and coated with more crumbs, the cake is finished by frying in oil until nice and crispy.
Delicious! But too much fuss for my style of cooking.
In the preparation of Maine Lobster Cakes, I eliminated the dipping, coating and frying steps and used a hot oven and muffin tin instead. By combining all the ingredients and seasoning them well (think like flavoring a meatloaf), the mixture scooped easily into a well-greased muffin tin. The high heat from the oven made the sides nice and brown and crispy, while the centers were still melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Inspiration for this dish came from a bag of crumby potato chips and the contents of my refrigerator. In creating any tasty seafood cake, similar to a meatloaf, there is no wrong recipe; just lots of room for creative interpretation. Scallions, green onions, chopped garlic, fresh herbs, hot sauce, sweet relish, Ritz cracker crumbs, grated carrots and celery; all add distinctive flavors. Liquids like lemon juice, mayonnaise, and cream help create just the right balance and texture.
These Maine Lobster Cakes were a big hit as cocktail fare, served with pesto mayonnaise and wild blueberry ketchup. I froze two and took them on the road for lunch as part of a salad finished with creamy garlic dressing. My husband enjoyed a Maine Lobster Cake on a toasted burger bun with thinly sliced red onion, lettuce and tomato. That tastes just like summer in Maine.
MAINE LOBSTER CAKES
- 8 ounces cooked Maine lobster meat
- 1½ cups mashed potato
- 3 garlic scapes chopped
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup cracker bread, or potato chip crumbs
- ¼ cup grated cheese 1.5 ounces
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Roughly chop the lobster meat into small pieces and set aside. Finely chop the garlic scapes.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of your food processor, mix together the mashed potato, cracker crumbs, chopped garlic scapes, and egg. Stir in the grated cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning. Add the lobster meat. Taste and correct the seasonings if needed.
- Portion the mixture into muffin tin cups. Bake until golden, and the sides of the cakes are nice and brown, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Let sit for 2 – 3 minutes, then loosen the sides (if needed) with a knife.
- Invert the muffin tin onto a sheet pan. Plate and serve.