Bring the Bayou Home: Easy Shrimp Po'Boys!

Boy, do I love the flavors of Cajun/Creole cooking.  I love spice, I love seafood, and red beans and rice are just the stuff of magic!  Very seldom do we get the opportunity to bring the bayou home.  Most of us think that Cajun cooking is complex, exotic, and tedious - exactly why it's hard to find a good gumbo.  Truth of the matter is that Cajun food, much like other cuisines, was created to be resourceful with whatever ingredients were at hand.  I can appreciate that, as I'm always creating delicious food with pantry staples and a little ingenuity.  On top of it all, if I can make a tried and true recipe into something practical for us modern, busy folk, is a challenge I truly enjoy.  This recipe is a prime example of good, old fashioned, Cajun food made simple.

Cara's Easy Shrimp Po'Boys:

for the fried shrimp:
-  1 lb.  shrimp (tails off, peeled and de-veined)
-  1/2 cup Louisiana Fish Fry Mix
-  1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
-  about 1 cup peanut or canola oil (enough to create a shallow pool in your pan)

for the spicy mayo sauce:
-  1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
-  2 tablespoons mayonnaise
-  1-2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

for the sandwich assembly:
-  2 submarine rolls (halved and toasted, if desired)
-  1 tomato (thinly sliced)
-  about 2 handfuls of Spring Mix greens (or whatever greens you like)

Before you start cooking, make sure you mix the ingredients for the spicy mayo sauce in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge to allow those flavors to marry together.  Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Mix the fish fry mix with the cayenne pepper in a bowl and toss in the shrimp.  Make sure the shrimp is completely and evenly coated.  Fry in the pan, about 1.5 inches apart for about 1 minute on each side (remember: shrimp cooks quickly, so don't go too far away!).  Allow cooked shrimp to drain over paper towels for a few minutes.

To assemble the sandwich, spread a layer of the spicy mayo sauce in the bottom half of your roll.  Add layer of spring mix, then a layer of tomato.  arrange half of your fried shrimp on the sandwich, and cover with top half of roll.  For those of you who love heat in your food, spread another layer of that spicy mayo sauce on the top half of the roll.  Open wide and enjoy!

Tips:  Fresh, wild caught shrimp always tastes best, but if you don't want to go through the processed of peeling and taking that icky vein our of every shrimp, you can have them done by your local fish monger.  If you don't have time to pick up some fresh shrimp at the store, a frozen variety can be used as well, just be sure to thaw and pat dry your shrimp before frying.  Don't limit your po'boy to just shrimp, you can use this same recipe for catfish po'boys, softshell crab po'boys, and even oyster po'boys!  Feel free to get creative and impress your friends and family.

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