April 29, 2013

Artichoke, Poblano and Asiago Cakes

  We recently went to dinner and they served artichoke cakes with a Cajun remoulade as an appetizer. 
I liked it, but I couldn't help but redesign the recipe just a little in my head as I ate. 
I'm a jerk that way.
I went home and immediately sketched out a plan.
Yes to the concept, no to the cajun sauce. 
Sub panko for traditional breadcrumbs for better texture? Yes.
Poblanos for heat!? Yes.  
More cheese. Yes. 
What kind? Asiago or Pecorino. 
Definitely. More. Cheese. 
What about a cheese sauce on the side too!?! Oooooo...Okay, Yes.
Lemon for brightness!? Yes. 

So since I didn't have a recipe, I created these puppies as I would a crab cake, just subbing in the artichokes for the crab, and adjusting the other ingredients to suite. 
I added roasted Poblano peppers for heat, lemon juice for extra acidity and both Pecorino and Asiago cheese for richness. Plus, I made a cheese sauce on the side for good measure.

They turned out super delicious, and much more affordable than their crabby cousin.
So easy and adaptable. 
I will be making these again.
Give them a go and let me know what you think!

Artichoke Cakes with Asiago Cream Sauce
Sock Monkey Dipping Sauce for the Distinguished House Guest

Yields approximately 6 large cakes or 12 small cakes

1 16 oz. Can of Artichokes Hearts in Brine, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated pecorino
1/4 cup shredded Asiago
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded, and chopped
1/4 of red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, cleaned and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
juice from half of one lemon + lemon slices for serving
vegetable oil for frying (not a lot...you don't want to drown them)

Cream Sauce (below)
Sriracha Sauce

1. Rinse, drain and chop artichokes. Allow to sit in a colander to drain further.
2. Saute red bell pepper, green onions, and garlic in one tablespoon of oil. Salt and Pepper. Saute until bright and slightly tender
3. Mix together the artichoke hearts, panko, mayonnaise, cheeses, poblano pepper, parsley or cilantro, mixture from step two, juice of lemon, and s/p. Add more mayonnaise if the mixture is too dry. Add more panko if it is too wet. 
Stir well to distribute ingredients equally.
4. Form mixture into patties (about a palm full of mixture per patty for 6 cakes)
5. Set on a tray lined with parchment. Sprinkle additional panko on top of each cake.
6. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to set
7. Preheat oven to 350
8. Pour approximately 4 tablespoons of oil into a pan. Heat oil in pan until shimmery. Drop cakes into oil and fry until golden on each side. Work in batches if necessary
9. Drain on a paper towel lined plate if you used too much oil
10. Transfer back to the parchment lined pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through. 
11. Serve warm with lemon slices, cream sauce and/or lemon pepper remoulade (recipes below), and/or drops of Sriracha sauce for even more heat (optional)

Asiago-Pecorino Cream Sauce:
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of flour
freshly ground pepper
(kosher salt)
2 cups of Asiago Cheese, shredded
1 cup of Pecorino cheese
**1 cup of chopped, roasted poblanos would be good here too

1. Melt butter
2. Add flour and stir until a foamy paste forms
3. Add pepper 
4. Add milk and stir until the milk is hot but not boiling
5. Slowly add cheeses, stirring all the while until thick. If the sauce is too runny, add more cheese.
6. Taste and adjust. Add a little bit of salt if necessary.

Lemon Pepper Remoulade:
2 cups of mayonnaise
juice of one lemon
1/2 tablespoon crushed black pepper

Stir all of the ingredients together well.

This entire recipe would pair really well with a crisp salad as a main course, or really well as an appetizer if made into smaller cakes.

And as always, let me know what you think! 

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