Eat’n Out!: A Po’boy for an Ole’ boy!

Published 2:55 pm Sunday, June 11, 2023

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Column written by Robert Duke

We reported on a relatively new place in Tuscaloosa recently where we had a shrimp po’boy and some fried fish. It was pretty good but both of us had stomach trouble after eating there. So, when we got the hankering for another shrimp meal, I decided to make them myself.

We started by taking about half a head of cabbage and making some homemade Cole Slaw. You know, the kind with apple cider vinegar, celery seed, black pepper, and mayonnaise. I like to add a little garlic powder, shredded carrot, and a bit of dill pickle relish. Not sweet pickle relish because that has that crazy-sweet sucrose syrup in it that drives my blood sugar crazy. Now I have gotten so accustomed to the dill pickle relish that I prefer it.

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We then put the cole slaw aside in the fridge to marinate while we get the other stuff ready. First, there is the shrimp. You can use practically any shrimp out there for this. I just chose a bag of those “tail-on”, extra-large shrimp I found on sale at Walmart. They were frozen so I started a pot of water boiling and added some olive oil and some Conecuh brand seafood seasoning in the water. When it got to a good boil, I added the frozen shrimp. After the water returns to a boil the shrimp will tell you when they are ready when they start to float. I usually just grab one out and taste it to make sure they are cooked well enough. These particular ones from Walmart are already cooked so really all you are doing is thawing them out and heating them up.

After the shrimp are done, quickly remove them from the hot water as they will keep cooking if you don’t and will be way too tough. Peel them or just remove the tails. Make sure that little vein thing has been removed down the back of the shrimp. That thing is nasty and tastes like you are crunching sand.

Now comes the fun part. For blackening fish, seafood, or chicken, I use a product with a New Orleans Chef on the label. He is pretty famous for his cooking and his name is “Paul Prudhomme”. I keep several of his products in the cabinet. “Blackened Redfish Magic”, “Poultry Magic”, and “Meat Magic” to be specific. If you haven’t guessed, I use the “Blackened Redfish Magic” one to blacken the shrimp.

Put the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss them with a tablespoon or so of olive oil or even non-stick spray to get the seasoning to stick to them. Then shake the seasoning onto them and toss again to get them all covered. I then get out a non-stick pan and melt a little butter in it with a bit of olive oil. When that gets hot, in go the seasoned shrimp. Remember they are already cooked you just want to sear in the blackening seasoning being careful not to overcook those shrimp.

While these are getting done, I throw some hoagie buns in the toaster. About the time the toaster pops up, the shrimp should be done. Just remove them from the heat.

Next slather on some extra mayonnaise. I have used “Duke’s” mayonnaise most of my adult life and I still do, but recently I started using one I found from “Kraft” brand mayo that is flavored with avocado oil. I think it is pretty good. If you like avocados or guacamole, you should try it.

After the mayo, add both slaw and shrimp to your hoagie roll and boom, Blackened Shrimp Po’boy.

What makes this sandwich so good is it is made just like you like it. Add more vinegar in the slaw if you like it or maybe lots of black pepper like me. I like diced onion in mine too but someone else eating my creations doesn’t like raw onion. So, no onion in my slaw. But I can always just add it to my sandwich. The point is, like most food items, you can make this just the way you like it rather than depending on someone in a restaurant somewhere doing it the way they like it when Eat’n Out!