Shrimp Cakes With Romesco Sauce

If you live in a region where lump crab meat is not readily available, using shrimp in this recipe is an excellent alternative. By all means, use good quality lump crab meat in place of the shrimp if you can get it.  

Baked Shrimp Cakes

1 1/4 Pounds Of Shelled And Deveined Shrimp Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces

2/3 Cup Finely Chopped Red Bell Pepper

2/3 Cup Finely Chopped Celery

2/3 Cup Finely Chopped Spanish Onion

Two Cloves Of Minced Garlic

2/3 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley

A Teaspoon Of Fresh Thyme

3/4 Cup Of Mayonnaise

A Beaten Egg

Two Cups Of Panko Bread Crumbs

The Juice Of A Lemon

A Teaspoon Of Worcestershire Sauce

Two Teaspoons Of Red Hot Pepper Sauce

Two Teaspoons Of Creole Mustard

Four Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided

A Teaspoon Of Cayenne Pepper

Two Tablespoons Of Canola Oil, Divided

Cooking Spray

Into a saute pan, add the canola oil, the cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of sea salt, red bell pepper, celery, onions, and garlic. Cook on medium low heat for 7 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off and let the vegetables cool.

Into a large mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, the beaten egg, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, the creole mustard, and three teaspoons of sea salt. Whisk all of these ingredients together until well blended. Add the parsley, thyme, the shrimp pieces, and the cooked vegetables. Fold all of these ingredients together. Add the bread crumbs and mix again.

Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Spray a 1/3 measuring cup with cooking spray. Place the shrimp and bread crumb mixture into the 1/3 measuring cup to form a small cake.  Drop the formed cakes onto the sheet pan making sure to space them out evenly.

When all of the shrimp and bread crumb mixture has been formed into cakes, place the sheet pan with the cakes into a refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Brush the top of each shrimp cake with canola oil and sprinkle sea salt on the top of each one. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the shrimp cakes are golden brown. Note: You can put the shrimp cakes under the broiler for two minutes for a more crispy top.

Serve with Romesco sauce (recipe follows) and lemon wedges.  

Romesco Sauce

Two Roasted Red Peppers (Core, Skins and Seeds Removed)

Two Roasted Roma (Plum) Tomatoes

Two Roasted Garlic Cloves

1/2 Medium Red Onion Roasted

Two Slices Of Day Old Italian Bread

Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

A Tablespoon Of Sea Salt

Two Teaspoons Of Ground Black Pepper

Two Teaspoons Of Red Wine Vinegar

A Tablespoon Of Roasted Almond Slivers

Two Teaspoons Of Anchovy Paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the onion and the two garlic cloves with olive oil. Sprinkle the onion and garlic with sea salt and ground black pepper. Wrap the onion and garlic cloves in aluminum foil.  Rub olive oil on the peppers and tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place the onion and garlic cloves (which were wrapped in aluminum foil) along with the tomatoes and peppers on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the skins of the peppers and the tomatoes begin to turn brown and blister. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and roast in the same oven for 3-4 minutes or until the nuts turn light brown.

After the peppers cool for 15 minutes, peel off most of the blistered skin and remove the core and the seeds.

Into a blender, squeeze the roasted garlic flesh out of their skins (like squeezing toothpaste). Add the peppers, tomatoes, onion, and any of the roasting pan juices. Blend until smooth. Add the bread, a teaspoon of sea salt, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, the red wine vinegar, almonds, and the anchovy paste. Blend until smooth. Taste the sauce and add more sea salt and/or black pepper if desired.

Pour the sauce into a serving dish and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.