A po' boy isn't a po' boy unless it's made on some good French bread, and that means crusty on the outside and light and airy on the inside. Once we've got that established, pretty much anything can go inside. A few popular po' boys include roast beef with gravy, shrimp, and oyster. But really, just about anything goes. Meat and gravy with French fries, you bet! Even french fries alone, as long as they've got some good gravy and are served on the right bread, well that works too.
You can dress it with lettuce, pickles, mayo, and tomatoes or opt to put nothing on it. Either way is perfectly alright in the world of po' boys.
The po' boy originated as a dish that even poor boys could afford. In 1929 during a four month strike against a motor car company in New Orleans, one restaurant began to serve these sandwiches free to the strikers, so that even the poor boys could eat. From poor boy to po' boy in Louisiana dialect, a sandwich (and a mighty one at that) was born.
Today's is a combo of tender shrimp bathed in a New Orleans-style remoulade sauce and topped with crisp, fried green tomatoes.
Shrimp Remoulade Po' Boy with Fried Green Tomatoes
3/4 cup mayo
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons finely chopped pickle
1 tablespoon capers, chopped if large
1 tablespoon mustard, preferably whole-grain
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large green tomato, cored and thickly sliced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup vegetable oil such as safflower
1 loaf French bread, about 24 inches, split
1. For the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the mayo, ketchup, pickles, capers, mustard, and cayenne. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp, remove from the heat, cover and let stand about 4 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Cool to room temperature and then cut each shrimp in half lengthwise.
3. Dip the tomato slices first in the buttermilk and then in the cornmeal, patting it on to adhere. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium and cook the tomato slices until crisp and golden on the outside and soft, but not mushy inside, about 3 minutes.
4. Toss the shrimp in the bowl with enough of the remoulade sauce to coat. spoon remoulade onto both cut sides of the bread. Spoon the shrimp mixture onto one side of the bread and top with tomato slices. Spoon more remoulade sauce onto the tomatoes, close the sandwich and cut in quarters to serve.