shrimppoboy

Shrimp Po’ Boy with Homemade French Bread

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shrimppoboy
I spent many of my high school years working as a “Sandwich Artist”, which made me hate ALL SANDWICHES FOREVER.

Well, all sandwiches from places like *that*. ‘Til this day that smell of bread baking and sliced bell peppers makes me dry heave. I literally dry heave everytime I walk past one of “their” establishments. They’re on some Voldemort shit for me now – “he who shall not be named”.  My time there did teach me a few things though – like the importance of bread to meat ratio, and how simple, high quality ingredients will beat a meat-piled-high sammich any day of the week.

I decided it was time to elevate my sandwich game by baking my own bread. This is my first journey into homemade bread, so my finished product looks a little… ahem… special. lol But it was DEEELICIOUS nonetheless. Bread really does make a sandwich, and the certain kinds of sandwiches need certain kinds of bread, so I decided I would make a homemade New Orleans style french bread for a po’ boy.  My good friend Kevan sent me this delicious Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry and I’ve been looking for every excuse everywhere to use it. A shrimp po’ boy seemed to be the next logical choice.

BTW, this is a 10 minute meal if you buy the bread. It’s a ~5 hour meal if you make it yourself (but most of that is inactive time, waiting for the bread to rise).

Let’s start with the foundation. The base. The Magic. THE BREAD.

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Flour, sugar, salt, shortening, yeast. Easy peasy, right?

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After letting the yeast, warm water and sugar “bloom”  in the mixer bowl, add the flour, shortening and remaining sugar and mix until the dough comes together. She’ll be a lumpy, slightly sticky mess that needs a good kneading.

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After 10 minutes of kneading – see how much smoother she is? Place in a bowl and let rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until doubled in size.

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Puffy McPufferson – when you can place your index finger into the dough and the indentation stays, she’s ret’ta go.

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Knead a couple of more minutes and form into a ball. See how the dough is even smoother now? I love kneading dough lol

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Divide dough in half and form into long ropes. I OBVIOUSLY need to work on my rope-forming skills. This is my first time making bread, cut a sista some slack. The second rise will get rid of some of those odd nooks and crannies lol

 

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Place your bread ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Once risen, use a sharp knife to cut a slit down the middle of each loaf. Spray a little water on the loaves (this helps create that essential crispy crust) and bake.

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30 minutes at 375.
Longest. 30. Minutes. Ever.

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You know I had to rip off one of the ends as soon as it came out of the oven. It just smelled too good. Totes worth the burned lips.

While the bread is cooling, let’s prep the rest of the sandwich.

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Dredge the shrimp in the Slap Ya Mama (or your preferred dredge) and fry in hot oil until golden brown.

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Drain the cooked shrimp on a paper towel lined plate. I like to sprinkle a little additional seasoning as soon as it comes out of the hot oil so that the seasoning sticks. This is optional, I just like the little extra kick of that Slap Ya Mama. :X

Let’s put it all together now!

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Split the cooled bread lengthwise and apply a layer of mayo to each side, followed by a sprankle sprankle of hot sauce.
I really could have stopped building the sandwich here – the bread was THAT good.

creole mustard

Chef’s choice on the mustard – you can use reg’la yellow mustard or a spicy creole version like I did. I love spicy so spicy is what I used. Put down a thin layer on one side of the bread.

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I’m pretty sure traditional po’ boys use shredded lettuce, but I CAN’T STAND shredded lettuce (I believe it is the devil’s work). By all means, if shredded lettuce doesn’t bother you, use that. I opted for a few leaves of red-leaf lettuce instead. Top with sliced tomatoes.

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Pile the shrimp higggggh!

 

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Fold the top half of the bread over and marvel at her beauty.

 

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I needed to cut this in half to be a manageable eating size.

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I mean.. c’mon (do all my recipes end with “I mean, c’mon? lol) BUT C’MON THO!

 

Shrimp Po’ Boy with Homemade French Bread

adapted from Saveur
makes 2 large po’ boys in about what seems like forever when waiting for bread to rise (~10 minutes if you buy bread, ~5 hours if you make the bread)

Ingredients
for the bread
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4-oz. package active dry yeast
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tbsp. kosher salt

for the shrimp

1 1/2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry* (See Notes)
2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
lettuce
mayonnaise
creole mustard
hot sauce

Directions

for the bread
Place 1/2 tbsp. sugar, yeast, and 1 cup of warm (not hot!) water heated to in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar and shortening, and then add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until dough forms. Remove from mixer bowl and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place back into the mixer bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Uncover dough and transfer to a floured work surface; knead briefly to form a ball. Divide dough into half and shape each half into a 16″-long thick rope. Place both ropes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Heat oven to 375°. Using a sharp knife or cutting blade, slash a long line down the middle of each loaf.  Spritz bread with a little water (this helps create that crispy crust) and bake loaves until light brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. While the bread is cooling, prepare the shrimp.

for the shrimp
Dredge rinsed shrimp in Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry, or your favorite cornmeal-based seasoning (see notes for suggestions). Fry shrimp in hot oil (place a wooden chopstick in the oil – if the bubbles are steady around the chopstick, it’s ready) until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

put it all together
Split the cooled bread lengthwise. Apply a layer of mayonnaise to each cut side, followed by a few sprinkles of hot sauce. Apply a layer of mustard to one side, and top with lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

Top with hot shrimp.

Fold in half.

Don’t share. Eat it all. Okay share a bite. But eat the rest.

Notes
If you can’t get your hands on Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry, try this as your dredge instead:
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne (according to your spiciness likes)
3 tbsp your favorite Cajun seasoning / seasoned salt

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4 replies
  1. mochazina
    mochazina says:

    you demon spawn, you! taunting me with homemade french bread… yeast hates me. hates me. it NEVER rises properly. maybe one day… maybe. until then, i’ll drool over photos of a delicious po boy till i get home. *le sigh*

    Reply

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  1. […] never been comfortable with yeast. I’ve made a cinnamon roll or two here and there… and that french bread that one time, but never a big ol’ loaf of bread in a loaf pan with rolling and twisting and jelly-rolling […]

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