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    Gulf Coast Oyster Po'Boys

    Source of Recipe

    From "Bon Apptit, Y'all" by Virginia Willis

    Recipe Introduction

    "Po'boy sandwiches are found all along the Gulf Coast and are a New Orleans tradition. There are various tales about the origin of the name: that it's a slang version of 'poor boy' and the sandwich used to be an inexpensive, yet filling meal; that the sandwich was given out to streetcar workers on strike, who were essentially poor boys; or that it is a bastardized version of the French 'pour boire.' This last theory holds that the sandwich was a sort of olive branch that men would bring home after a night of drinking and carousing around town. Whatever the name's origin, it is an excellent sandwich. Although one can find roast beef and gravy po'boys or fried potato and gravy po'boys, possibly the most popular version of this iconic Louisiana treat is fried seafood po'boys made with shrimp and oysters from the Gulf. The key to light and crispy fried food is to use the right oil. Peanut oil is a great choice for frying: it has a mild, pleasant flavor; does not take on the tastes of foods as readily as other oils do; and has a smoke point of about 450 F, meaning you can safely heat it to a very high temperature."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ ⅓ cup mayonnaise
    ◦ 2 teaspoons hot sauce
    ◦ Juice of lemon
    ◦ Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 6 cups peanut oil, for frying
    ◦ 1 large egg
    ◦ cup milk
    ◦ 1 cups white or yellow cornmeal
    ◦ 2 pints shucked oysters, drained (about 60 small oysters)
    ◦ 1 baguette, halved horizontally
    ◦ 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
    ◦ 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
    ◦ 1 large, ripe tomato, cored and sliced


    Line a plate with paper towels and set by the cooktop.

    In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat until it reaches 375 F on a deep-fat thermometer.

    Meanwhile, combine the egg, milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoons of salt, and pepper to taste in a second bowl.

    Working in batches, and being sure to return the oil to 375 F for each batch, add the oysters to the egg mixture, remove with a slotted spoon, letting any excess drip off, and transfer to the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat well. Carefully transfer the oysters to the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

    To serve, spread the cut sides of the baguette with the seasoned mayonnaise and Creole mustard. Arrange the fried oysters, lettuce, and tomato on the bottom half of the bread and cover with the top half. Using a serrated knife, slice the sandwich into 4 to 6 portions and serve immediately.

    Serves 4 to 6




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