Melissa Elsmo

My take on a Big Easy worthy po’boy features a batch of quick pickled shrimp and pile of crunchy fried oysters. Slathered with a savory sauce and dressed with a traditional trio of lettuce, tomatoes and pickles this po’boy delivers rich flavor. Just like any good po’boy, mine is a messy to eat Mardi Gras treat!

Dressed Picked Shrimp and Fried Oyster Po’Boy –four servings

Containers of fresh shucked oysters can be found in the fish department of finer grocery stores. Look for east coast oysters as they are the perfect size for frying for a po’boy.

For the Pickled Shrimp:

  • 1 ½ 10-15 count shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay or Mesquite Blend seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ Cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cocktail-Tartar Sauce:

  • ¼ Cup mayonnaise
  • ½ Cup ketchup
  • ¼ Cup parsley
  • 1-2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons diced dill pickle
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Fried Oysters:

  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1 8oz container of fresh sucked oysters (about 8)
  • ½ Cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten with 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 Cup panko bread crumbs

For Assembly:

  • 1 French baguette, cut in half and halved through the middle horizontally
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Bread and butter pickle slices

To Prepare the Pickled Shrimp: Fill a large saucepan with water. Add the Old Bay, mustard seeds, celery seeds, salt, chili flakes and bay leaves. Bring the water and seasonings to a rolling boil. Add the shrimp to the pot, cover, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 6 minutes. Drain the shrimp and allow to cool to room temperature. Toss the shrimp with the sliced onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and stir occasionally. *Can be prepared and refrigerated one day before serving.

To Prepare the Cocktail-Tartar Sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, 1 Tablespoon horseradish, dill pickle, lemon juice and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Taste the mixture and add up to 1 Tablespoon of additional horseradish according to your personal tastes. Set the sauce aside until ready to assemble the sandwich. *Can be prepared three days before serving.

To Fry the Oysters: Pour the canola oil into a high-sided skillet to a depth of 2-inches and heat over medium-high heat until a bread cube sizzles on contact. Meanwhile, set up a three step breading station. Drain the oysters and toss in the seasoned flour to coat. Shake off the excess and dip each oyster into the egg mixture to coat. Roll the egg coated oysters in the panko breadcrumbs and drop into the hot oil. Fry the oysters, turning occasionally, until the coating is golden brown and crispy-about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the oysters to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt.

To assemble the Po’Boys: Pull the fluffy middle out of the center of the four bread halves and discard. Slather each section of the baguette with the cocktail tartar sauce. Distribute the pickled shrimp with the onions over the sauce on the bottoms of the baguette halves. Top the shrimp with the fried oysters. Fill the top half of the bread halves with shredded lettuce, tomato slices and bread and butter pickles. Place the top halves on the bottoms and cut in half to yield four po’boy sandwiches.

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