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Tyler Florence…my hero!  I used his basic recipe for Po’ Boys – with a few deletions and additions, and it is amazing! His Creole sauce is so good, my son went nuts over it. While these may look like a basic Po’ Boy, I promise you, they are anything but. I’ve had them in many different areas of the country and these beat out every restaurant version.

Shrimp Po' Boy

Shrimp Po’ Boy

I know, I talk about health and then serve dishes that are deep-fried – but, we seldom eat out, and watch what we eat and balance out the good with the bad – just as I balance out the more expensive with the inexpensive. I’d rather have something decadent like this at home now and then, than have my kids eating fast food or packaged nuggets to meet their cravings.

I’ve gone a bit close budget, so I’ll serve my Po’ Boys with an inexpensive cole slaw – that will help bring the meal into a more frugal arena (and a little healthier.) It’s such a classic side for dishes like this, too. I’ve also cut back on some of the ingredients and sizes. Believe me, we still had plenty to eat, and I couldn’t even finish mine, plus I’ll have leftover slaw for another meal. Cost with Coleslaw, about $5.66.

Shrimp Po’ Boys, serves 4, cost:  $4.23

  • 3/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons hot sauce, plus more for sandwich
  • 3/4 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 soft sub or hoagie rolls
  • Creole Mayonnaise, recipe follows
  • Finely shredded iceberg lettuce

In a large bowl, soak the shrimp in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. In a shallow dish, whisk, together the cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne.

In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F.

Drain the shrimp and toss them in the seasoned cornmeal. Working in batches, fry shrimp until golden and crispy, about two to three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper paper bags. Season with salt, to taste.

Split the rolls and smear with Creole mayonnaise. Line with plenty of shredded lettuce and top with fried shrimp. Serve with hot sauce.

Creole Mayonnaise (Remoulade):

  • 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sweet relish or finely diced pickle
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield, about a 3/4 cup, so it makes a little extra.

Cole Slaw, serves 4 to 8, cost:  43 cents.

I never really use a recipe for creamy cole slaw – I use about 1/2 sour cream and half mayo (1/2 cup each for 1/2 a head) then add a little salt, sugar and vinegar and either celery or caraway seed. I’d estimate a tablespoon vinegar and sugar, about a teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of caraway or celery. Taste it and adjust to your liking.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied:

Make your Creole sauce ahead of time, along with your coleslaw.  Both benefit from a little sitting time.

  • Shrimp:  I used to be too much of a snob to eat frozen shrimp, but in my quest to eat more fish and seafood I’ve caved – and found out what I was missing.  Thaw overnight in the fridge – I like to put a few paper napkins at the bottom of the container to catch the liquid so they don’t start out soggy.  I buy mine at Aldi’s (same company as Trader Joes) for $4.99 or so a pound.  I used 3/4 pound, so my cost was $3.74.
  • Bread:  Again, for these rolls, I shopped Aldi’s – 8 of their big, soft Lovin’ Oven rolls were $1.25, so four were  62 cents.
  • Cabbage:  Mine was almost 4 pounds, bought at a St. Patrick’s day sale, for 17 cents a pound.  It’s still perfectly good, several weeks later.  I used half, so my cost was 34 cents.
  • Corn Meal:  I have to guess at this, so 3/4 cup is about 30 cents.
  • Lettuce:  On sale about a week ago for 78 cents a head – I’m not too much of a snob to have a few cheap salads!  Call it retro.  I saved out about a cup for my Po’ Boys, so the cost is about 3 cents.
  • Mayonnaise:  I bought 8/11 at $2.99 for 32 ounce jar, which was not a great price, and again in April 2012 for $1.99 for 32 ounces with a sale and coupon.  I always buy the jars, not the squeeze bottles because they are generally the same price, but you get a larger jar, and there is less waste.  If I’m making a recipe that calls for a lot of Mayo (potato salad, cole slaw) I’ll whip up some home-made for dirt cheap.  Since I only made 1/2 my coleslaw, I just used the jar. Cost for coleslaw and Creole sauce about 50 cents.
  • Buttermilk:  I didn’t happen to have any on hand, but I wanted a thicker product than just plain milk with a little vinegar – I added a touch (about a teaspoon) of mayo to my milk.  Cost per gallon this week is $2.50, so the 3/4 cup is about 12 cents.
  • Sour Cream:  Very cheap during the Holidays and often on sale every few weeks.  Since it lasts so long, I’ll pick it up then.  I do think some Sour Creams are much better than others, but if I’m using it a recipe, I’ll use whatever is on hand.  I like to keep it very clean so it lasts a long time and store upside down.  Just stir together if it separates.  Last bought September 2011 for $1.60 for 16 ounces, around Easter 2012 for $1.00 for 16 ounces.   3/4 cup is about 30 cents.
  • Hot Sauce:  I haven’t paid for Frank’s or Tabasco in ages – I buy smaller bottles and use a coupon when it’s on sale.
  • Mustard and Sweet relish:  I’m estimating 3 cents – but like all condiments, buy during the summer months when coupons and sales are available.
  • Vinegar:  Every so often they’ll have coupons for vinegar, making name brand lower than store price.  Best time to buy is generally around Easter for the basic White or Apple Cider.  Summer is usually when you’ll find the good cooking vinegar on sale.  I’ll find sale prices, too, around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Stock up on the best prices because they keep forever.  Often sales are not advertised, and you can find coupons, now and then, for both the basic and the fancier vinegar.  A huge jug is about a dollar – and a few teaspoons are negligible.
  • Spices and sugar:  I generally never add in the spices for a meal, (that’s too fussy, even for me!) so I just count this as negligible, and the sugar is about 5 cents.

Nutrition: (without the rolls)

  • Shrimp:  Cal 180, Cal fr fat 20 (11%); tot fat 2.31g; sat fat 5.7g; chol 190mg; sod 650mg; tot carb 24g; fib 2.7; sug 3.57; prot 16g
  • Creole Sauce:  Cal 98; Cal fr fat 74 (76%); sat fat 2g; chol 10mg; sod 194mg; carb 6g; fib .05g; sug 6g; prot .41g

Put Your own Spin on It:

If you’ve got the money and like Oysters, go for Tyler’s full-blown recipe; I’m sure it’s amazing!

Shrimp Po’ Boys made April 2012

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