Monday, April 8, 2013

cooking light, cooking right - thai shrimp cakes

I've never been a big diet person.  I don't like them at all, actually.  They're restrictive, they're trendy, and they're not fun.  Three things I don't think I am.  

I've always been fortunate to have a pretty healthy palate, which has definitely played in my favor, and somehow... for the most part... I've been able to balance a love of all the things one shouldn't eat too much of, with a sincere appreciation for most things one should.  

Out of all the cooking magazines I have historically, and currently do, subscribe to, Cooking Light ranks at the top of my list.  So, I thought it might be fun to have a reoccurring post to feature some of my favorite CL recipes.  I've titled it, Cooking Light, Cooking Right.  

The magazine has a great mix of quick recipes, edgy recipes, down-home recipes, and just plain good recipes with a lighter twist.  It's not a wipe-all-the-sugar-and-fat-out-of-a-recipe type magazine, but it is an everything-in-moderation kind of offering that gives a rather pleasant - but not in your face - nod towards healthy food decisions.  Best of all, it never sacrifices flavor for a few less calories!

Everywhere I look, I'm seeing Asian recipes.  It seems to have the covers and headlines of many food discussions, so I thought I'd try my hand at one I found in the latest edition of the magazine.  These cakes came together so incredibly fast, and John said - I quote - "This might have been the most flavorful thing I've eaten!"  

I couldn't have agreed more.

I followed this recipe to a "T" and didn't, nor wouldn't, change a thing.  Well, actually, you could add a bit more olive oil than called for, just so the cakes have enough for a quick seer/fry to help hold them together.  Don't be afraid to let them sizzle for a while.  You want to be able to successfully flip them.

I'm not sure what it is about these, specifically, that causes the immense flavor.  The ingredients fit together beautifully, and all I know is I already want more.  That's if I can beat John to the platter.  I was glad I had eaten one before I let him at 'em.  I'm still looking forward to a second.

A side of steamed Edamame with a nice sprinkling of Kosher salt made this meal on the patio at sunset a "10."  Thanks, Cooking Light.  With recipes like this, it's "cooking right" in my book!    

Thai Shrimp Cakes - makes 4 cakes
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1/4 cup minced unsweetened dried coconut, divided
  • 2 tbsp. minced green onions
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (or more, if needed)
  • 1 lime, quartered
~ Combine 1/3 cup panko, 2 tbsp coconut, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl.  
~ Add shrimp and stir just until combined.
~ Using wet hands, shape mixture into 4 equal balls.
~ Combine remaining panko and coconut in a shallow dish.
~ Coat balls in panko mixture, pressing to form 4 (4-inch) patties.
~ Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
~ Add oil; swirl to coat.
~ Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
~ Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe from Cooking Light