Monday, July 21, 2014

Oven-Fried Shrimp & Okra Po' Boys (and a po' boy salad)

Oven-Fried Shrimp & Okra Po' Boys

Oyster po' boys are one of my favorite foods ever.  Love the bread, love the fried oysters, love the remoulade sauce… it's all good.  But… not good for you.  Like, at all.  So it's relegated to a "once a year, only order it on vacation" food. That doesn't mean I don't crave it though.  And when I do - there's this sandwich.  No, it's not the same as the real oyster deal.  But it's pretty darn good.  And oh, about 1,000 calories less.  So it's a winner all-around.

When I first saw these in Cooking Light, I got so excited because HOW have I never thought of an okra po' boy before??  Genius!  Instead of being deep-fried, the shrimp and okra are tossed in buttermilk, then coated with spicy Cajun-spiked cornmeal.  They are baked in the oven, and come out perfectly crispy and delicious.

Another way that these cut calories is portion control.  Instead of being served on a big honking baguette, they are served in hot dog buns - like a lobster roll.  Definitely splurge and buy fresh hot dog buns from the bakery for these; or better yet, make your own!  A spicy and creamy remoulade sauce rounds them out, and I'd recommend serving simply with some chips, or go all-out summer and add some corn on the cob and watermelon.

Oven-Fried Shrimp & Okra Po' Boys

As for me?  I had a hankering for a salad that night (I told you, I'm obsessed with salads this summer).  So I turned my sandwich into a big salad with romaine, tomatoes, grilled corn, then okra and shrimp, and thinned out the remoulade with a little buttermilk to make a kick-ass dressing.  Winner winner, po' boy dinner.

Turned my shrimp and okra po' boy into a salad.  #greatdecision #clblogger #clkickingdishes #pinkparsley #summertime

Oven-Fried Shrimp & Okra Po' Boys
 Cooking Light, June 2014

The sandwiches were a little messy for the kids to eat, so I ended just giving them the okra and shrimp with some remoulade for dipping.  They loved this, and I think it would be a fun appetizer served this way too!

  • 15 small okra pods, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 low-fat buttermilk, divided
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 10 oz medium shrimp, deveined, peeled, and tails removed (preferably gulf shrimp)
  • 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 4 top-split, hot dog buns, toasted
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • Remoulade sauce (recipe below)
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat  to 450 degrees.

  1. Combine the okra and 2 tablespoons buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl; gently stir to coat.
  2. Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with flour; toss well to coat. Drizzle with remaining 6 tablespoons buttermilk, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Drain okra and shrimp through a sieve; discard liquid.

  3. Combine cornmeal and Cajun seasoning in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add okra and shrimp; seal bag, and shake well to coat.

  4. Carefully remove pan from oven; drizzle with oil, then use a brush to coat the entire bottom of the pan with the oil.. Remove shrimp and okra from cornmeal, shaking off excess, and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 5 minutes.  Carefully flip the okra and corn, then bake an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until the shrimp and okra are cooked through.
  5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the rémoulade on one side of hot dog buns; divide lettuce and tomato evenly among buns.  top with the shimp and okra and serve.
Remoulade Sauce
adapted from Annie's Eats

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ Tbs pickle juice
  • ½ tsp prepared horseradish
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Dash of hot sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Josie said...

I've just recently found your blog and CANNOT wait to try this! The first meal I ever had with my later-to-be husband was a Po' Boy at Pappadeaux's in Beaumont, TX (the BEST PB you'll find). We lived in quasi-Cajun country for over a year and I LOVE these...(don't ever try to order one outside of the Gulf Coast area!) What a great and more healthful version for those of us outside of that blessed region (probably a BIG plus for me or I'd be double my size!)

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Josie said...

Did anyone say Po'Boys?! Count me in! These look delicious. Loving this healthier version, for sure :)

Josie said...

Kinda want these with just the oven-fried okra. Would that be sacrilegious?! I don't even care. I just want.

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