Roast Beef Po'Boys dripping with debris gravy* are my favorite. But other classics like fried shrimp, catfish, oyster, or crawfish are ok with me too.
I tend to pick straight on classics then quirk things up with a flavored mayo, mustard, or some other sauce.
This time around I made a garlicky, lemony mayo with lemon juice and my son's favorite thing to put on everything: Cajun Power Garlic Sauce.
|served with a side of Creole Oven Fries|
The foundation of a really great Po'Boy is the bread--a crisp crust and soft, cottony inside. After that, pretty much anything can be made into a Po'Boy.
And that's where this book comes in.
The Southern Po'Boy Cookbook: Mouthwatering Sandwich Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans
by Todd-Michael St. Pierre
This isn't a new cookbook; it was published in 2013.
But it does have some new po'boy ideas like a Pain Perdu (French Toast) Po'Boy for breakfast and a Cheesy Pepperoni Po'Boy to make the kids happy.
There are also twisty takes on standards.
The old carb lovers dream--the french fry po'boy (yes, there is such a thing) becomes a Poutine Po' Boy. The classic fried catfish po'boy is sexed up into a Pecan-Crusted Trout Meunière Po' Boy.
There are roughly 52 po'boy recipes.
One po'boy per week for a year.
I have work to do. I've only tried two so far.
The Ultimate BLT
aka The Slidell
aka The Slidell
This po'boy is made with basil mayo, mozzarella, bacon, and arugula (I used lettuce), and tomatoes that are slowly roasted with a garlic-herb dressing. Two slices of bacon per po'boy just seemed skimpy so I doubled it. The author likes to make the joke that he doesn't like a heavily dressed po'boy--he prefers a scantily clad one. But one cup of mayo split between two po'boys was really a bit much. Overall, this was a good po'boy and one I'd make again. The tomatoes were my favorite part and the basil mayo was a nice touch.
Eggplant Parmesan Po'Boy
aka The Bywater
I thought this was a clever idea for a meatless po'boy that doesn't involve seafood or frying (the eggplant is baked). This is also a clever idea for using up leftover eggplant parmesan...which is what I would suggest. The author makes these eggplant parm po'boys right from scratch.
This is something I noticed throughout the book. The Plaquemines (Turkey & Stuffing Thanksgiving Po'Boy) uses Thanksgiving leftovers. I find that many of the recipes in this book would be fun ways to serve leftovers. I'm sure the author doesn't want to assume that you have leftover glazed ham and mac & cheese to make The Mama's Boy, leftover red beans and andouille sausage to make The Metairie, or leftover crawfish etouffee to make The Atchafalaya. But I don't think I'll be soaking red beans overnight or baking a glazed ham to make a po'boy--no matter how much I love po'boys.
For the record, the only po'boy I'd spend hours on would be a roast beef.
At first glance, the names of the po'boys seem fun and slick. Most of the po'boys are named after areas in and around New Orleans (The Garden District, The Marigny, The Harahan, The Treme) or are NOLA related (The Jazz Fest, The Satchmo, The Snug Harbor).
Some of the names make sense. The St. Charles Avenue is a fried lobster po'boy with remoulade sauce. Upscale like it's namesake. The Havana features cuban style pork. The Lafayette is a po'boy filled with boudin, a Cajun sausage popular in the Lafayette area.
Most of the names are just out of left field though. And that bugs me.
Why is The Metairie called the Metairie? Red beans are eaten all over New Orleans. Why is The Pontchartrain--a huge source of seafood for the New Orleans area--a breakfast French toast po'boy? Why was the name not given to a po'boy featuring seafood? Similarly, why is the classic roast beef po'boy called The Lakeside? And on a personal level, why is The Algiers a po'boy featuring fried scallops and chipotle sauce? I'm not saying fried scallops with chipotle sauce wouldn't be good. But I grew up in Algiers and can assure you that we did not eat scallops. Or chipotle. This not standard Algiers fare. Like I said, it just bugs me.
Summing it up:
I found the book to be interesting because of my passion for po'boys. The food pictures and artwork, showing New Orleans scenes, make me want to eat po'boys all day and spend some time in my hometown. I don't know that I'll really follow many of the recipes as they are written, but the book did give me a lot of jumping off points for branching out when it comes to the good ole po'boy.
Fried Crawfish Po'Boys w/ Cajun Power Mayo
for the mayo:
1/2 cup Blue Plate Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Cajun Power Garlic Sauce
Mix together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
for the po'boys:
1 12" French Bread
oil for frying
1 lb crawfish tails
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
10 oz of your favorite fish fry (I use LA NOLA style fish fry)
pickle slices (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread in half lengthwise, leaving a "hinge" on one side. Cut the bread into two equal pieces to make two po'boys. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes to warm and crisp the bread. Remove and set aside.
Heat oil to 350 degrees. While oil is heating, dust the crawfish with flour and shake off the excess. Combine the egg and milk. Dunk the crawfish in the mixture, then coat with fish fry. Shake of the excess and carefully add to hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Spread the bottom side of each po'boy with the mayo. Pile on the crawfish. Top with lettuce, tomato, and pickle (if using).
Dressed means to order a Po'Boy with mayo, lettuce, tomato, etc.
Debris Gravy is a rich roast beef gravy, filled with little bits of beef (the debris). It's the best part of a roast beef Po'Boy.
Products and sources:
(note: these are NOT affiliate links)
Louisiana Fish Fry: New Orleans Style w/ Lemon
Cajun Power Garlic Sauce
Louisiana crawfish tail meat