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This Old Chef: Blog & Recipes

Hamapalooza Lives! Ham and Wild Rice Cakes with Poached Shrimp and Horseradish Mayo Sauce

Posted on May 11, 2018 with 0 comments


As you all know, I love making “cakes.”

Not the sweet kind... I’m not great at those.

But the savory ones with vegetables, or grains, or cooked meats, or (some) raw meats... that kind of cake!

Right after Easter, with that big pretty spiral-sliced Easter ham in the fridge, I took two whole pieces off the ham, minced it, and put it in a bowl.  To that I added about 3/4C of cooked wild rice from a dinner a few nights before.  I added an egg, and some mayo and mustard.  Then some bread crumbs... not a lot.  I tried to form some of the mixture into a ball in order to shape a cake.

Damn.  It wouldn’t hold together.

So I had a few choices:  Flour.  More mayo.  More eggs.  I wasn’t really wild about any of those choices.

Another choice came to me:  a quick couple of pulses in the Cuisinart!  That’s the way I decided to go, but I only pulsed a few times... I didn’t want a dense baby-food texture.  So, a few pulses later it was still chunky, but a bit more cohesive.  I hedged my bets with another dollop of mayo, fried a small test cake... success!  I formed the cakes, coated them in more breadcrumbs, and fried them in a bit of EVOO.

For the sauce, I knew I wanted horseradish because I was also going to serve a few poached shrimp from the test kitchen.  But I thought it would be fun to skip the tomato component common to most cocktail sauces, so I added freshly grated horseradish from our garden to some mayo and sour cream... with a bit of Dijon thrown in to complete the sinus-clearing profile we love.

Two hot ham and wild rice cakes.  A few chilled, poached shrimp.  A big swoosh of that bracing sauce.  A shower of chives.  Crazy fun!  One of those giggle-all-night dinners we like so much.  And you don't have to wait for next Easter...  When you're enjoying that picnic ham this summer, try this cake thing!  I’m serious.  It transforms things.