Weeknight Shorts: Po' Boys

When I was in high school, I spent a summer in Louisiana learning about coastal engineering and, frankly, amazing food. It was a great experience and there are still days when I long for a proper shrimp boil or po' boy. One of those is a lot easier to make at home, so I can satisfy my heart at least a little without grabbing a flight south every time I'm in the mood for one of these glorious sandwiches.

Even though this is a sandwich bursting with shrimp, it's important to keep things balanced. A good roll (in this case, one of my favorites - a pretzel roll) gets a generous coating of mayo and then enough tomato to keep things juicy without making the sandwich fall apart into a mushy mess and enough lettuce to have it falling a bit out and keeping things crunchy gets the crowning touch of some buttery, spicy shrimp. Suddenly, I'm on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico and waiting to wade into the surf to wash any spills this amazing sandwich might deposit on me. Mmmmm, memories!

Now, you might wonder if you can use other ingredients in a sandwich like this. Sure! However, if you like spicy shrimp, make it this way at least once and don't skip tomatoes or lettuce since, like the famous BLT, they really do make this into a bit of sandwich art!

Shrimp Po' Boys

  • 8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp. seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 tsp. chili oil
  • 4 long pretzel rolls, sliced and toasted
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 tomato, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 c. thinly sliced romaine lettuce

Toss the peeled and deveined shrimp with the seafood seasoning of your choice. In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the shrimp, sautéing it until pink and fully cooked. Remove from the heat and add the chili oil and toss the shrimp to coat generously with the oil. Set aside.

Slather the pretzel rolls with the mayonnaise and arrange the tomato and lettuce in each roll. Top with the warm shrimp and, if desired, drizzle any pan juices over the rolls. Tuck additional lettuce and tomato into the rolls as needed and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes