LUDO BITES AMERICA – Grouper Po’boy Sandwich
More masterful cooking from our guest blogger Justin, who, along with his wife, Lori, writes the food blog The Gastronomic Duo, a blog dedicated to couples cooking together in the kitchen and enjoying food with one another in their home.
One might not think we Minnesotans know much about the po’ boy and I’m gonna have to tell you, you’re wrong. If the po’ boy sandwich is about the fish, Minnesota has just as much knowledge as all of those Southerners, probably more considering the 20,000 lakes our state boasts.
It’s a bold statement. I am aware. It’s bold because unfortunately the po’ boy is not about the fish. For Lance it wasn’t about the bike and for the po’ boy sammy it’s not about the fish. That said, the same rules always apply when purchasing fish – source the highest quality and the freshest available.
If it’s a given that you’re using high quality fish, what’s left to make the sandwich good, great or amazing? What’s the difference? The answer is everything: the bread, the condiments and, of course, the technique. It’s the togetherness that creates the soul of the sandwich and it’s the soul of the sandwich that makes it magical. That’s where the Southerners come out on top. They bring soul.
Lo and I go out to this great little local spot located in a park near a waterfall. Their specialty is seafood and they do it right. I usually get the catfish po’ boy and always get it grilled and blackened, so I’m excited to try what looks to be a well practiced recipe from Queen G’s in Mobile, AL, which calls for coating the fish in corn meal and then frying it. There were no recipes given for their famous tartar sauces, so we decided to throw a nice remoulade recipe your way to round out this soul sandwich.
Let’s talk about the bread for just a bit. You have to get really fresh hero or hoagie buns. If you try and use a crusty baguette, there is no way you won’t have yourself a bloody mouth when you’re finished. Trust us.
And lastly, you need technique. We’re sure that when you try Queen G’s cooking method for a nice crisp fish to place into a fresh hoagie topped with some of our remoulade, you won’t be disappointed. So give this recipe a try and get your Southern soul sandwich on, no matter where you live.
Queen G’s Grouper Po’ Boy
1-8 inch piece of Reisling’s French Bread from New Orleans, or any light and airy French bread
8-10 oz. piece of filleted grouper, or any fish you prefer
1 teaspoon butter
Self-rising corn meal to coat the fish
Cayenne pepper – just a dash’ll do and mix in corn meal
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayo
1 ½ tablespoons of pickle, finely chopped
1 teaspoon capers, finely chopped
1 anchovy filet, chopped and mashed to a paste
1 tablespoon chive, chopped
1- 2 teaspoons cayenne, depending on your preference
splash of Tabasco
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
For the fish:
A deep fryer set to 370º F, or if you don’t have a fryer, a skillet will do. Cast iron is best. Just fill with canola oil 2 inches deep.
Cover the fish with corn meal COMPLETELY on both sides and put in the hot oil.
While fish is cooking spread the butter on to the po’ boy bread and get ready to toast (length of toast time is personal preference. I think it’s best super toasty,
Let fish cook for approx. 7 minutes if in a deep fryer. If using a skillet you may have to turn the fish to evenly cook and brown.
Transfer hot fish on to folded paper towels to drain any oil, then place on your po’ boy bun.
I top it with shredded lettuce and tomato and everyone tops that with our locally famous and made-in-house, secret recipe cocktail and tartar sauces.
…or as we say at Queen G’s “you gotta eat it all if you want ice cream.”