Barbecue Shrimp Po'Boy

Ingredients

For the barbecue seasoning

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon  smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon  salt
  • 1 Tablespoon  garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon  white pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon  cayenne
  • 1 Teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons  dried thyme

For the Maque Choux relish

  • 1/2 Cup  whole kernel corn
  • 1 Cup  cherry tomatoes
  • bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon  fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon  bacon fat
  • 1 Tablespoon  balsamic vinegar

For the po'boy

  • 1 Pound  bacon, cut into lardons
  •   2-4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  •   Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 Pounds  shrimp, heads and shells removed
  •   Four 8-inch French bread loaves or other hoagie-style bread, toasted

Funny thing about New Orleans' famed barbecue shrimp — it doesn't fit any definition of barbecue. There's no smoke, no open flame, and no tangy red sauce. Nope, barbecue shrimp is a dish that is usually sautéed or baked in butter and served with French bread for sopping. Here's my take — first I render lardons of bacon to use the fat with butter to add a smokiness to the sauté. Next I'm using that same loaf of French bread to turn it into another New Orleans standard — a po'boy. But I'm not done turning a Big Easy vittle on its head. To top my sandwich I took the old Cajun braised vegetable side dish Maque Choux and turned it into a relish. Finally, a garnish of bacon bits adds crunch and still more smoky goodness.

Click here to see Mardi Gras: The Feast Before the Fast.

Directions

For the barbecue seasoning

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients together and set aside.

For the Maque Choux relish

In a bowl, toss together all of the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the po'boy

Line a plate with paper towels. In a large skillet, render the bacon lardons over low heat to make crispy bacon bits. Drain the bacon bits on the paper towels and remove all but about 2 tablespoons bacon fat.

Add the butter to the bacon fat and melt over medium heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to the pan. Coat the shrimp liberally with the barbecue seasoning and sauté in the butter-fat mixture just until the shrimp are done, about 5-10 minutes.

Evenly distribute the shrimp equally in each of the loaves, spoon on a little of the relish, and top with bacon bits.

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