Crave the Louisiana water­front? Try this Oys­ter Po’ Boy

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - CULI­NARY IN­STI­TUTE OF AMER­ICA

This Oys­ter Po’ Boy will trans­port you to a warm af­ter­noon by the Louisiana water­front.

A po’ boy is a Louisiana-style sand­wich of meat, fish, or shell­fish on soft but crusty French bread. We won’t be so bold as to say what should be on a po’ boy, be­cause from town to town, and even block to block, the rules shift. But in gen­eral, po’ boys are dressed with let­tuce, tomato, onion, and maybe may­on­naise, mus­tard and pick­les.

Fat and crunchy fried oys­ters are a nat­u­ral po’ boy fill­ing be­cause they are abun­dant in the warm waters of the Gulf, mak­ing them read­ily avail­able and in­ex­pen­sive. Even if you’re not an oys­ter per­son, a fried oys­ter is re­ally a horse of a dif­fer­ent colour. Cooked oys­ters lose the slimy qual­ity that peo­ple usu­ally com­plain about. Coated in a crunchy, golden-brown corn­meal coat­ing, they be­come down­right ten­der and sweet.

Just like wine and cheese, oys­ters are a prod­uct of their ter­roir, mean­ing the en­vi­ron­ment in which they grow and live. Wa­ter tem­per­a­ture, lo­cal ecol­ogy, and even weather can in­flu­ence the tex­ture and flavour of the oys­ter, mean­ing that an oys­ter har­vested from the Pa­cific North­west will be no­tably dif­fer­ent than ones har­vested in the Gulf or off the coast of New Eng­land.

“Oys­ters from the colder north waters tend to be very com­plex and briny in flavour, while the West Coast oys­ters tend to be fruity and flo­ral, al­most cu­cum­ber-like in flavour, and the South­ern oys­ters tend to be the least flavour­ful,” said the Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica’s chef-in­struc­tor, Ger­ard Viver­ito.

Oys­ter Po’ Boy MAKES 4 SERV­INGS

3 cups corn­meal ¼ cup all-pur­pose flour 1½ tea­spoons kosher salt, plus more as needed 1 tsp Cre­ole sea­son­ing 1 tsp ground black pep­per, plus more as needed 1 quart shucked oys­ters, well-drained Veg­etable oil, as needed for fry­ing 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds re­moved ½ cup NOLA Re­moulade Sauce (recipe fol­lows) 4 French bread rolls, about 6 inches each, split 2 medium toma­toes, sliced 1 head let­tuce, shred­ded Salt and pep­per as needed

Start to fin­ish: 45 min­utes In a medium bowl, com­bine the corn­meal, flour, salt, Cre­ole sea­son­ing, and pep­per.

Add the oys­ters and toss un­til well-coated.

Fill a heavy-bot­tomed saucepan with about 2 inches of oil. Over medium heat, bring the oil to about 350 F. Work­ing in batches, fry the oys­ters un­til they are golden brown all over, about three min­utes. Use a slot­ted spoon to trans­fer the cooked oys­ters to a pa­per-towel-lined tray.

Care­fully lower the lemon slices into the hot oil and fry un­til the white pith be­gins to brown, two to three min­utes. Trans­fer to the towel-lined tray.

Spread about 2 ta­ble­spoons of NOLA sauce on one half of each roll. Evenly dis­trib­ute the fried oys­ters, lemon, toma­toes, and let­tuce be­tween the rolls and sprin­kle with salt and pep­per be­fore serv­ing.

NOLA Re­moulade Sauce MAKES 8 SERV­INGS

8 cor­ni­chons 2 tea­spoons ca­pers 2 green onions, chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp Cre­ole mus­tard or a whole grain mus­tard 1 tbsp chopped Ital­ian pars­ley 1 cup may­on­naise ½ tsp pa­prika 1 tsp hot sauce Kosher salt, to taste Ground black pep­per, to taste

In a food pro­ces­sor, com­bine the cor­ni­chons, ca­pers, green onion, lemon juice, mus­tard, and pars­ley. Pulse un­til finely chopped.

Add the may­on­naise, pa­prika, and hot sauce. Pulse to blend. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste.

Use im­me­di­ately or re­frig­er­ate in a cov­ered con­tainer un­til needed.

Per serv­ing: 863 calo­ries (266 from fat); 30 grams fat (5 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 111 mil­ligrams choles­terol; 1640 mg sodium; 122 g car­bo­hy­drate; 10 g fi­bre; 6 g sugar; 29 g pro­tein.

PHIL MANS­FIELD, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Po’ boy: a Louisiana-style sand­wich of meat, fish or shell­fish on soft but crusty French bread.

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