I am officially declaring these sandwiches to be The Meal of the Summer. We had these for dinner last night, and we loved them so much that I’m sharing them with you today, and they’re going back on our meal plan next week.
I’m hooked on the Food Network show Chopped, and for whatever reason, they’ve been having lots of chefs from New Orleans competing lately. Joe and I have been talking for months about going to New Orleans for my 30th birthday next year, so I’d already been thinking about the food a lot anyway – and when I saw one of the chefs on the show make a po’ boy, I immediately started craving the sandwich. (That chef made his with catfish, which I don’t like AT ALL, but it was the idea of the sandwich that made my mouth water.) I found this recipe amongst my Pinterest pins and put it on our menu – and I expected that we would enjoy them, but I wasn’t prepared for how blown away by them we’d be.
There is just something so irresistibly perfect about the combination of sweet, succulent shrimp, crispy breading, Cajun spices, and creamy sauce. This is a simple sandwich, but the flavors are so complex. The boys popped the shrimp like candy, and Joe enjoyed them so much that he ate three sandwiches. Three! That left me with only one, which I was pretty sad about, because I could definitely have easily eaten two.
Shrimp Po’ Boys
adapted from My Recipes
1 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, white and light green parts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped pickle
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, divided use
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound small shrimp (51-60 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 hoagie rolls, split and toasted
Thinly sliced tomato
1. Blend mayonnaise, scallions, pickle, hot sauce and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning in food processor. Cover and chill.
2. Whisk egg, milk and cayenne. Add shrimp; let stand 10 minutes. In a shallow bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 200 degrees; line a baking sheet with paper towels and another with foil.
3. Remove shrimp from egg mixture, shaking off excess. Dredge in cornmeal mixture. Set on foil-lined sheet.
4. Pour 2 inches of oil into a large, deep skillet. Heat oil until it reaches 370 degrees on a thermometer. Cook shrimp in batches, turning once, until coating is browned and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to paper towel-lined sheet with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in oven. Bring oil back to 370 degrees before adding a new batch of shrimp.
5. Spread 1 tablespoon reserved sauce on rolls. Divide lettuce and tomatoes among rolls. Divide shrimp among rolls and serve immediately.