June has gone by too quickly and I constantly have to remind myself to savor summer before the leaves lose their colors. Grim, I know, but I just want to eat and see everything while it’s nice out. Boston is incredibly charming in the summer.
I love seafood with a passion, but summer accelerates that passion into an obsession. I crave lobster rolls and crab cakes on a weekly basis. It’s a New England thing, possibly. So I decided to challenge myself a bit and see if I could make a seafood fritter of some kind. So, the shrimp and green garlic cake was born.
I wanted to combine seafood with a quintessential summer produce: green garlic. This is the season for them, right before the garlic scapes come in. Green garlic is very versatile and can be used in place of garlic for a milder flavor. I recommend nibbling on the leaf to get a taste for inspiration.
These shrimp cakes are perfect for hosting that July 4th party – it’s great finger food and possibly a conversation piece. A quick tip: I recommend adding in another quarter pound of shrimp or extra green garlic if you want the cakes less doughy. Just a thought if you want these to be extra luxurious.
Celebrate summer appropriately with good food and better company.
Shrimp Garlic Cakes
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Half pound jumbo shrimp, deveined and cut into ½’ pieces
1 green garlic, chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 red Fresno chili pepper, diced
½ tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon Parsley Mayo
½ cup mayonnaise
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ tsp. ground pepper
¼ tsp paprika
Once the shrimp has been cleaned and cut, set aside. Next, separate the chopped green garlic stems from the leafy parts. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle in some olive oil and add garlic stems. Let them sauté for about a minute before adding the shrimp – season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes or just until the shrimp begins to look pink. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk them together to prevent lumps. In a separate bowl, whisk milk and egg together until homogenous. Then add milk and egg mixture to flour and gently stir. Add olive oil to smooth out the batter. If there are a few lumps, that’s all right; you want something that resembles pancake batter.
Add shrimp, scallions, diced pepper, and the remainder of the green garlic to the batter. Fold gently until everything is combined.
In a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. Use a spoon to drop the batter into the skillet. Leave enough room between each cake and pat them down gently with the spoon to flatten. Let each side cook for about 2-3 minutes; once the bottom is brown and you can see the top bubbling, it’s time to flip them. Do this step in batches – you will need to add olive oil to the pan each time. Place the cakes over paper towels as you keep frying.
For the mayo, simply mix everything together. Serve the shrimp cakes warm with this sauce. Squeeze some extra lemon juice if desired.