Masarepa mix (dehydrated cooked cornmeal) is absolutely key in this recipe. When reconstituted with water or broth to make dough, it holds its shape beautifully, which is great for making interesting and easy croquette-style dishes. It works especially well for crab-less cakes because the flavor is subtle and doesn't overpower the hearts of palm.
Swap option: Make this recipe completely plant-based by replacing the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise or vegetable oil in the cakes. For the sauce, replace the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise, and the cheese with 3 tablespoons tahini and 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice. The cooking times and steps remain the same.
For the sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cheese, horseradish, basil and garlic powder. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
For the crab-less cakes:
In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, seafood seasoning, onion, celery, parsley, mayonnaise and mustard. Stir and then add the masarepa. Stir again to combine all the ingredients and then pour the hot water over the mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Use a 1-ounce scoop to divide the mixture. Form each scoop into a 2- to 3-inch disk. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cakes and sear on one side for 6 to 7 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Flip the cakes and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes on the other side.
Top each crab-less cake with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce and serve immediately.