Chad Sarno's Hearts of Palm "Crab" Cakes
1 sheet of nori, or 2 teaspoons of nori flakes
Two 14-ounce cans of hearts of palm
¼ - ½ cup canola oil, more if needed
¼ cup finely diced red oinion
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons Vegenaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Toast nori sheet by holding it with tongs and fanning it over a low gas flame or electric burner. Be careful not to let it burn. Turn the sheet frequently, so that it toasts evenly.
Grind the nori using a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder, by breaking the nori into pieces and pulse until a fine powder. Alternatively, pulverize with a mortar and pestle or.
Drain the hearts of palm and press in a towel to dry them. In a food processor, pulse gently until it looks like the consistency of crabmeat. Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and hear for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Saute the onion and bell pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, onion-pepper mixture, Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Scoop the mixture with an ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with remaining 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning on a small plate. Coat the cakes with the breadcrumbs and press into place to make neat edges. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a medium-sized sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat for two minutes. Working in batches, sauté the cakes until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 - 3 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary so that the cakes brown but do not burn.
Remove the cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven until you have finished all of the cakes.
Serve on fresh salad greens dressed with Mandarin Champagne Vinaigrette.
Mandarin Champagne Vinaigrette
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons agave
¼ cup diced fresh mandarin segments
3 tablespoons flax oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon orange zest
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined, or pour into a glass jar with a sealable lid and shake well. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Keeps one week in the fridge.