“Inauthentic” Shrimp Po’Boys

Now that you have extra brioche hotdog buns …

We all know that hotdogs and buns never come out even. And that is even more true when there are just two people. So here we sat with extra buns. A snoop through the freezer revealed shrimp that we had left over from my mom’s visit. Time for po’boys. This was an update from my oyster version a while ago, and the changes came because I wanted to use what I had on hand. We were quite pleased, but I suggest substitutions to make this your own.

THE SHRIMP

  • Vegetable oil for frying (approximately 2-4 cups depending on pot size and number of shrimp)
  • 12 medium-sized shrimp (deveined and “de-tailed”)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (we were out of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipolte sauce
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal

THE SLAW

These measurements are approximate.

  • 1/3 bag Trader Joe’s shredded green & red cabbage w/carrots
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickles, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa paste
  • 1/2 tsp Lowry’s seasoning (we were out of Old Bay)
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

THE CONDIMENTS

  • 3 Trader Joe’s brioche hot dog buns (or buns of your choice)
  • Tabasco chipotle sauce
  • scallions
  • lemon wedges

START WITH THE SHRIMP

  1. Place cleaned shrimp on a medium-sized plate.
  2. Mix the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, black & white peppers, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Use about 2 tablespoons of the spice mix to season the shrimp and leave them on the plate.
  4. Add the flour and cornmeal to the rest of the spice mix.
  5. In a small bowl, beat one egg and add the milk and chipotle sauce.
  6. Dip seasoned shrimp in the milk mix, then coat with flour/seasoning mix, shaking off any excess. Repeat if you want a thicker coating. We kept ours light.
  7. Place the shrimp back on the plate; cover it with a paper towel. Refrigerate while you prep the slaw.

MAKE THE SLAW

This is the easy part. Mix the wet ingredients and spices together. Toss in a bowl with the slaw mix. I don’t like overly soggy slaw, so I kept some of the mix aside to add to our sandwiches as desired. I also suppose that you could do this early and allow time for the entire mix to congeal. But we were pressed for time before work–and I like crunchy slaw!

FRY!

  1. In a medium, heavy pot with high sides, add enough oil to fill the pan about to 2″ deep. Heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F.
  2. Carefully add the prepared shrimp to the hot oil in batches, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Do not overcrowd, and be sure to give time for your pan to return to temp between frys.
  4. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon (we used a spider strainer); drain on paper towels.
  5. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

ASSEMBLE

For the picture, I put the shrimp on top. In “real life,” I would put them on the bottom (to keep the slaw from soaking the bread). Either way, you will need plenty of napkins!

We dressed our po’ boys with four shrimp per bun, a mess of slaw, a squeeze of lemon, with chipotle sauce and scallions to taste.

SUGGESTED SIDES AND PAIRINGS

These po’ boys are a meal unto themselves. We each had 1 1/2 po’ boys, which held us until dinner. We paired ours with pickle spears and homemade potato chips. But if you’d like a heartier side, I suggest macaroni salad, baked potato wedges, or tater tots.

It was a work day, so we paired this meal with tall glasses of iced tea and water. If this was a leisurely moment, I’d pair these with a brut sparkling wine or a crisp sauvignon blanc. For beer drinkers, I suggest a kölsch style.

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