From mid-January to late February (or, in this year's case, early March), the celebration and anticipation of Mardi Gras leaves me craving the flavors of the South's coast and New Orleans (never mind that I have never actually been to NOLA, or even Mobile, during Mardi Gras). It just seems right to eat Gumbo, Etouffee, Shrimp Creole or Bread Pudding during those few weeks. It fits the weather outside, the duldrums of winter are losing their grip, and that deserves a celebratory, albeit comfortable meal.
I was all prepared to share my new favorite Shrimp and Grits, but we gobbled this Cajun-spice laden dish up before I had a daylight hour to photograph it (and while this delicious meal traditionally belongs to Charleston and the Lowcountry rather than NOLA and the Gulf coast, the recipe is from John Besh's My New Orleans and is his Cajun take on the Lowcountry favorite).
In lieu of another Shrimp and Grits recipe, I have another delicious Cajun offering: Roasted Shrimp Po'Boys, which we shared with some friends who were in town last weekend. I will say, I barely got a picture of this sandwich, and the one I took isn't all that enticing. You'll just have to take my word for it; this sandwich is a flavorful taste of NOLA!
Roasted Shrimp Po'Boys
Inspired by CBS News
Remoulade Sauce adapted from Cooking Light
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet (Vidalia) onion, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon capers1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 12-inch soft French bread loaves
1 pound large wild shrimp, peeled
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Cachere's)
dash cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons panko
1 tomato, sliced
green leaf lettuce
Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, parsley, relish, mustard, capers and hot sauce, stirring to combine. Set remoulade sauce aside. Slice the French bread loaves in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the Cajun seasoning, cayenne, cornmeal and panko. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Spread the shrimp in a single layer in a roasting pan lined with parchment paper.
Place both the bread and the shrimp in the oven. Roast for five minutes, then remove the bread and turn the broiler on high. Broil the shrimp for three more minutes.
While the shrimp are finishing in the broiler, spread the remoulade sauce on both halves of the bread. Divide the shrimp between the two loaves, then top with lettuce and tomato. Cut each loaf in half to make four sandwiches.