Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Nothing satisfies a hearty appetite like a good po'boy. Considering how much I love seafood, it's no surprise that my favorite po'boys are of the seafood variety, with shrimp being at the top of my list.
I do prefer the shrimp on my po'boys fried, but I'm trying to watch my waistline a little. I'll save the fried stuff for my next visit back to Louisiana (hopefully, this summer). Besides all that, a good bbq shrimp po'boy is actually quite tasty.
The bbq shrimp I like on my po'boys consists of olive oil, lemon, and lots of spices. It's drier and quite different from my other bbq shrimp recipe, which has beer and vermouth in it.
A little bit about po'boys...
Po'boys come one of two ways -- dressed or not. This generally means dressed with mayonnaisse ("my-nez"), iceberg lettuce, and tomato. Maybe pickles. Sometimes, in the case of seafood po'boys, the my-nez is swapped out for a very light spread of ketchup.
The po'boy bread is a high quality French bread from the likes of Leidenheimer's. It's got the perfect crust on top -- not too tough, though. It's nice and a little airy, but not overly so. (It is not that fake, overly dense stuff that you get in other states that is sold as French bread. Rant. Rant. Rant.) Anyway, it is cut lengthwise and is sometimes lightly brushed with a bit of butter.
A little bit about ordering po'boys...
When you order a po'boy in South Louisiana or New Orleans, the conversation will likely go something like this:
Waitress: "Whatcha gonna have, shugga/baby/chere?"
You: "I'll have the shrimp po'boy, please." (Nice manners!)
This is a yes or no question. Please don't ever order your po'boy 'undressed'. I mean, don't even do it if you're on Bourbon Street, where undressing is generally an acceptable behavior. Trust me on this one.
Are you hungry yet? Good. Are you intimidated? Don't be.
BBQ Shrimp Po'boy
2 lb 31-40 shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and patted dry
2 tsp olive oil
cracked black pepper
kosher or sea salt (if using salt-free Creole seasoning)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 French baguette, or 4 French rolls (highest quality and least 'doughy' you can find)
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 c iceburg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, thinly sliced
ketchup or mayonnaisse
1) In a large pan that can go under the broiler or onto the grill, mix shrimp with oil, lemon juice, Tabasco, and all spices to your liking. Set aside in fridge for 15 mins.
3) Trim the ends from the baguette and cut into 4 equal lengths. (If using rolls, skip this step.)
4) Cut bread or rolls lengthwise, brush lightly with melted butter and set aside.
5) Grill the shrimp for approx 7 - 8 mins, or until done, tossing once halfway through cooking. (Alternatively, you can broil the shrimp in the oven. Sorry, I don't have an estimated cooking time for that.)
6) When ready to serve, place a thin layer of ketchup or mayo on the bottom halves of bread or rolls, followed by a pile of shrimp.
7) Place lettuce and tomato on top halves of bread or rolls, then place halves together.
Serve with oven fries (or real ones) and cold beer or a nice wine.