As I’m making a trip down to New Orleans this month (half business, half pleasure), Big Easy recipes have been on my mind. You’ll discover a little taste of my most treasured city in America to visit in these quick, easy oyster and shrimp po’boys.
My favorite “Sammie” in the Big Easy is at Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar on Annunciation Street. This is my take on their best sandwich of all.
Oysters are one of my most cherished foods — briny, alluring and glorious with very little fuss. When testing this recipe for my most recent cookbook, “America Farm to Table” (Grand Central Life & Style, $35), we got our oysters from the Pemaquid Oyster Company in Damariscotta, Maine, where Jeff “Smokey” McKeen raises over a millions oysters each year.
Oddly enough, my favorite version of the greatest remoulade sauce on the entire planet is served at Pearl Oyster Bar in New York’s West Village, where chef Rebecca Charles makes the best tartar sauce I’ve ever tasted.
I modified the recipe for this po’boy; but when I eat it, I am back on Annunciation Street, dreaming.
Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind 25 restaurants.
Oyster and Shrimp Po’boy
4 cups peanut oil, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Texas Pete hot sauce
16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
16 oysters, shucked
4 soft hoagie rolls
1 cup remoulade (see second recipe)
2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar
For the remoulade
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Creole mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon pimenton (Spanish paprika)
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice or sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 scallions, minced
1 rib celery, cut into fine brunoise
1 tablespoon tiniest capers, or large capers, chopped
Before you start cooking the shrimp and oysters, make the remoulade: In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, pimenton, horseradish, pickle juice or sugar, hot sauce, scallions, celery and capers; mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Heat the oil in a tall-sided pot until it registers 365 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
Place flour and Old Bay in a shallow bowl and mix well. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then add the hot sauce and beat again.
Dip the shrimp in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off, then dredge them in the flour mixture.
Place the shrimp into the oil one at a time and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Dredge the oysters in the same flour mixture and drop them into the oil one at a time. Fry until golden, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.
Assemble the sandwiches: Split and toast the rolls, then spread both sides of the bread with some of the remoulade. Divide the sliced tomatoes among the rolls, then the shredded lettuce. Season with salt and pepper, and add a splash of red wine vinegar. Place four oysters and four shrimp on top of the lettuce in each sandwich, and close. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Per serving: 1,080 calories; 65 g fat (11 g saturated fat; 54 percent calories from fat); 93 g carbohydrates; 8 g sugar; 194 mg cholesterol; 3,278 mg sodium; 30 g protein; 5 g fiber.