The winter weather is starting to break and we’re beginning to get those 72 degree days, that just like to tease us. This means Spring. Spring means Summer. Summer means the beach. And the beach means…well…seafood.
Shrimp were on sale. One lonely avocado had been sitting on the window sill, ripening and bathing in the sun for days now. And I had limes and cilantro.
Well, when do I NOT have cilantro and limes?
I picked up a couple of fresh French bread loaves and we had some big ol honkin Shrimp Po’ Boys for dinner. But these aren’t your traditional Shrimp Po Boys. Sometimes I just have to work with what I got! Originating in Louisiana, the traditional Po Boy is normally made with a remoulade sauce, lettuce, tomato and of course, the shrimp. I made mine with a Southwest flair, using avocado and fresh pico de gallo.
These Po’ Boys are light, simple and easy to make. And with bikini season right around the corner, you will thank me later.
On the beach…
Oh… what? Oops, I started daydreaming.
Along with the ingredients in the following recipes, you will also need two medium-sized loaves of French Bread and lettuce for the Po Boys. And sure, go ahead and throw some cheese in there too. What the hell. Any kind of cheese you want. I’ll allow that to you and you only.
What you’ll need for the Avocado Mayo:
– 1 ripe avocado
– 3 Tbsp mayo (for a healthy substitution, use Greek yogurt)
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp Cajun/Creole seasoning
– juice from 1/2 of a lime
All you need to do is simply place all of the ingredients into your blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Store in a covered container and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
What you’ll need for the Pico de Gallo
– 1 large tomato, diced
– 1 small onion, diced
– 3-4 springs of fresh cilantro, chopped
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– juice from 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
This Pico de Gallo recipe is just as simple as the Avocado Mayo. Toss all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Store in a covered container and keep in the fridge, away from the tortilla chips, until ready to serve.
What you’ll need for the shrimp:
– 1 lb of shrimp, uncooked, shelled and de veined
– 1 egg
– 2 Tbsp milk
– 1/2 cup flour
– 1/2 cup cornmeal
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning or your favorite Cajun/Creole spices.
oil for frying
In a large skillet, heat oil to med-high. You don’t need a lot of oil. Just about 1/2 inch deep.
Whisk the egg and milk in a medium bowl. I added hot sauce to mine. That’s completely optional. But I WILL judge you if you don’t.
Mix the flour, corn meal and Old Bay seasoning together in another medium bowl.
**I DID NOT flour the shrimp first, before the egg wash. Being in a sandwich, I wanted the shrimp to have a very light coating.**
One by one, dip each shrimp into the egg/milk mixture. Next, coat each shrimp in the flour/cornmeal. Then, carefully place in the hot oil. Fry a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden brown.
You HAVE to do this one by! If you want to be a wise guy and dump the whole bowl of shrimp into the breading and then into the oil, go ahead! You will be shit out of luck, with no shrimp for your Po’ Boy and don’t say I didn’t warm you!
Another good tip is to hold each shrimp (by its tail) in the hot oil for a couple of seconds, before dropping it in. This will keep each shrimp from sticking together. I know, I know it will take an eternity. But it will be worth it! Have you see the pictures of these Po’ Boys?!
When you are ready to assemble the Po’ Boys, toss the French loaves in a 450 degree oven to toast. Keep an eye on them! They should be nice and toasty on the outside but warm, soft and fluffy in the inside. Slice open the loaves, lather on the Avocado Mayo, pile on the shrimp, and top with lettuce and your fresh Pico de Gallo.
Serve with chips or french fries. Hey, you DO already have the hot oil going…