Consider this my homage to “Nawlins” and…to kick off Fat Tuesday….Mardi Gras style!
Years ago I use to travel for business to Richmond Virginia, I fell in love with the people and city of Richmond, and I fell in love with Cajun food. One of the dishes I adored at this Cajun Restaurant Chez Foushee, the food was amazing. One of the first Po’Boys I had there, was made with fried oysters, it was orgasmic. I was blown away by this seemingly simple but phenomenally complex sandwich. I loved the makeup of the whole damn thing! An exquisite airy bakery roll, with a sweet slaw, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles, these amazing pickles with the beautiful fried oysters and the remoulade this was no simple tartar sauce, hell no, this was amazing. Since that time I have not found a Po’Boy I adore as much, until mine. This Deconstructed Lighter Cajun Shrimp Po’Boy, foots the bill perfectly.
While I had my first Po’Boy in Virgina, this is truly a New Orleans, Nawlins as the locals say, classic dish, and as a matter of fact they have Po’Boy shops throughout.
I chose to make this with shrimp because my kidlets don’t adore oysters. I also use almond meal instead of flour, to keep this lighter in carbs, as well as corn meal. And while it is pan fried, I am using a small amount of oil and butter, so while it’s not completely virtuous, it is healthier, as authentic Po’ Boys tend to be deep-fried even catfish.
This is a wonderful way to get fussy eaters to try seafood since it is lightly fried and with the accompaniments your fussy eater won’t even remember they are eating seafood! And who knows they may even learn to love it!
This is a super easy, super delicious and mildly spicy remoulade. Using the non-fat Greek yogurt in this is much better in my opinion then reduced calorie or full fat sour cream. Besides for the fact that you are cutting calories from using less mayo, and full fat sour cream. Just dump all of the remoulade ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine and chill to meld flavors while you make the slaw, and the shrimp.
This looks super spicy but it has only a bit of heat. I like to feel the heat just in the back of my throat, spicy but not overtly so. You can’t have a Po’Boy without some sort of remoulade. Well you could, but why would you? That’s just crazy talk! Go big or go home! This is the Big Easy we are talkin’ about.
Using the mixture of cornmeal and almond meal is the perfect texture and taste and adheres to the buttermilk perfectly. I like to add a teaspoon of baking powder in the meal mixture for a little leavening, but this is optional. A word about the buttermilk above, I let the shrimp take a bath in that homemade buttermilk, that’s 3/4 cup with about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, or you could use lemon juice, and let it sit about 5 minutes to fully curdle, then I let them sit in the milk bath for 15 minutes, before coating them with the breading. I like to use homemade since I rarely can find it in my neck of the woods, but if you can find it and have it on hand use it!
This is really the perfect breading for all things Cajun and otherwise. Letting the shrimp sit in the buttermilk is key, it helps with the flavor, allows the shrimp to stay moist, and it helps the breading adhere to the shrimp. Make sure to shake off excess.
Look how sexy this looks already. I sprinkle Cajun seasoning, on before I fry them up to ensure flavor. I do the other side as I flip them. Let these cook about three minutes per side for medium shrimp, four or five for large. Don’t overcook or crowd the frying pan. Add canola oil to skillet along with butter. I did these in two batches. Perfectly done, super delish! They have that authentic blackened Cajun feel, and the slight nuttiness from the almond meal is perfect in this, and if I didn’t tell you it was in here you would not detect it. I love, love, love almond meal.
For the presentation, line a plate with shredded lettuce, then sliced tomato, I used Compari tomatoes because they are my favorite, Roma or vine tomatoes are perfectly fine as well. Next pile on the slaw. I had a picture of the slaw and I deleted them inadvertently so take a gander here and imagine that you were along for the ride! Next you want to top with the shrimp, finish by spooning over the spicy remoulade, and last sprinkle on some chopped pickle. This was really an amazing salad that tasted exactly like a Po’Boy! My son was home in between his college classes and devoured this in record time. Glad I put my lunch to the side. Give this a try! It is so, so delish!
Deconstructed Lighter Cajun Shrimp Po'Boy with Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw
A lightend up version of a Nawlins classic, that has a mildly spicy bite, that has a nice sweet contrast with the coleslaw. This might just be slightly better than the original!!
- You can vary this recipe and use oysters or catfish instead and this would be awesome!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 lb. of medium peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1/4 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 cup of almond meal
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. of canola oil
- 1 tsp. of baking powder
- 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
- hot sauce (Texas Pete’s preferred)
- 2 tbsp. of Cajun seasoning, divided ( I like to sprinkle it on while the shrimp is cooking)
- 1/2 head of romaine lettuce thinly sliced
- 5 tomatoes thinly sliced
- 2 pickles chopped, any you prefer, I use a commercial whisky brined brand,
- Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
For the Coleslaw
- 1 pkg. of shredded coleslaw mix
- 1 1/2 tsp. of hot Cajun seasoning (I use Slap Ya’ Mama brand)
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 1/4 cup of non fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. of honey or Agave nectar
- 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
- 1 large squeeze of Siracha 1/2
- 1 1/2 tsp. of prepared horseradish
- Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cabbages, and carrots, mix well to incorporate. Add the coleslaw mixture. Refrigerate for at least a half hour to meld flavors.
For the Spicy Remoulade
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise regular or reduced calorie
- 1/4 cup or light sour cream or non fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. of grainy Dijon mustard or creole mustard
- 3 chopped cornichons or gherkins finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp. of Cayenne
- 1 1/2 tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning
- Dash of hot pepper sauce
- juice of half a lemon
- Kosher Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until needed. Extras are tasty on sandwiches or as a spicy dip for seafood.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
- In a large glass dish combine buttermilk, add in hot sauce about four dashes, mix well. Add in shrimp, let sit a 15 minutes to coat well.
- In a deep vessel for breading combine, cornmeal, almond meal, 1 tbsp. of Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
- When pan is ready, add butter and canola oil. Letting shrimp drain first back into dish, dredge into breading mixture, place in skillet. and fry about three to four minutes per side. Don’t over cook. I like to sprinkle with some Cajun seasoning while frying, totally optional. Season other side, place on baking sheet lined with a wire rack.
- Sprinkle shrimp with a bit of salt while still warm. Just a tad, most commerical brand Cajun seasonings already have salt.
- Begin to assemble, on a plate, spread a layer of lettuce, then tomato slices, on top of that a mound of coleslaw, place some shrimp on top, sprinkle with chopped pickles and drizzle with the spicy remoulade. Devour!
Want more Fat Tuesday ideas, check out my blog from the previous year! The King’s cake was so much fun to make and so yummy!! Will cook for Beads…Fat Tuesday