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Shrimp Cakes with Spicy Cajun Mayo
“Shrimp cakes are common all over the Gulf Coast, but this recipe is healthy because they're made with whole-wheat breadcrumbs, packed with fresh vegetables and are delectably crisp without having been deep-fried. Serve these shrimp cakes as a first course, on top of a salad or like a burger on a whole-wheat bun with the Cajun mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.”
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined (see Tip) and coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning, divided
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron, or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
2Add shrimp, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and salt to the bowl. Thoroughly combine, then form into 8 cakes, 3 inches wide and about ½ inch thick.
3Wipe out the pan, add another 2 teaspoons oil and heat over medium heat. Add 4 shrimp cakes and cook, turning once, until the shrimp are just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining 4 cakes, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent over browning.
4Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Serve the mayonnaise with the shrimp cakes.
To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. To devein, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Remove the dark digestive tract (or “vein”) with the knife tip.
Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it's more likely to be sustainably caught.