While living in Italy, we took full advantage of the local food and became obsessed with the Italian food culture. Now that we are stateside and living in Maryland I look forward to experiencing the foods of this region. The most popular Maryland food is the deliciously sweet blue crab. A few weeks after my boys and I arrived in Maryland (hubby was still in Italy) we enjoyed crab at a local restaurant.
Now, I have eaten plenty of crab legs, but had never eaten a whole crab and was looking forward to the gastronomic experience. The crabs were brought out with wooden mallets, but no instructions were given on how to use them.
We attempted to crack open the crabs hoping that we were using the correct technique. I am sure we looked so ridiculous as we tried to figure it out. After a few failed attempts and still unsure about what part of the body was edible, I finally asked our waitress for help. Once we knew how to open them, it was some good eating! This meal was fabulous, but set me back about $100 for three people.
Another popular and more affordable way to enjoy crab is crab cakes. In February, my sister came to visit and I really wanted her to enjoy some Maryland crab, but crab was not in season. My friend recommended we pick up crab cakes from a hole-the-wall place near Baltimore. They were amazing! The crab cakes for five people cost about $70.
Now, you may wonder why I am writing about crab since the title of this post is Broiled Tilapia Cakes. Well, as I was meal planning this week, I thought it would be nice to make crab cakes at home. I had never cooked them before and decided to try a simple Old Bay Recipe. We have a grocery budget and I try my best to stay within the allotted amount. I knew fresh crab would be pretty pricey, but thought that canned crab would be an affordable alternative. I was shocked to see that a 1 pound of canned lump crabmeat cost about $28. I just couldn’t do it. I knew it would bust the budget and I wasn’t even sure if the cakes would be good or if my family would like them. I started thinking about what would be a more cost-effective yet tasty alternative to the crab. There is not a good substitute for crab that I am aware of and I definitely wasn’t going to settle for imitation crab. Tilapia is a mild fish, in my opinion, so I thought it might work. I bought 1 pound of fresh Tilapia for less than $9, about 1/3 the cost of the canned crabmeat.
These cakes turned out really well. I opted to broil them instead of fry them for a figure friendly dish. The cakes go nicely with potatoes of your choice (mashed, fried, roasted, or baked), side salad, and bread.
source: adapted from www.mccormick.com
- dried bread, crusts removed - 2 slices
- milk - small amount
- mayo (I use light) - 1 Tbsp.
- Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp.
- baking powder - 1 Tbsp.
- parsley flakes - 1 Tbsp.
- Old Bay Seasoning - 1 tsp.
- salt - 1/4 tsp.
- egg, beaten - 1
- Tilapia - 1 pound
- If using frozen Tilapia, thaw first. Cut Tilapia into chunks.
- Break bread into small pieces in large bowl. Moisten with milk.
- Add mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
- Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly.
- Measure out mixture into 1/4 cup measuring cups then dump out onto a baking sheet. You will get 6 patties with a little leftover. You can either have one small patty or divide evenly among the 6 patties.
- Place in fridge for 30 minutes this will keep the patty from falling apart.
- Turn broiler on low.
- Broil for 10-20 minutes until fish is done and the patties are browned.