Seafood po boys abound in New Orleans -- shrimp, oysters, crawfish, and fried fish are all wonderful. This recipe uses ocean perch in an extra-crunchy breading and tops it with Cajun mayo, tomatoes, and a Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw.
Since the culinary foundations of New Orleans are French and Italian, it's no surprise that the bread plays an important roll, er, role, in a po boy. You want a loaf that's long (about 24 inches) and relatively narrow, with a good crust and a somewhat soft, airy interior. If you can't locate a French loaf fitting the description, a Cuban sandwich loaf might be a good choice, or a soft, supermarket-style baguette. You can also use two 12 inch loaves of an appropriate type.
Yield: 2-4 servings
- 1 recipe Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Louisiana hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup white cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp milk
- Oil for frying
- 1 1/4 lb skinless ocean perch fillets
- 1 large, narrow loaf (about 24 inches) French bread (or Cuban bread or baguette), or 2 12" loaves
- 1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well with the milk.
Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven to 360 degrees. Dry the fillets and dredge them in the flour mix, shaking off the excess. Dip them in egg; let excess drip off, then dredge in flour.
For an extra crunchy coating, dip the fish in egg and flour for a second time before placing in the oil. Fry the fish in batches and let drain on a rack or on plain paper towels.
Keep cooked fish warm in a oven set to 200 degrees. If desired, place the bread in the oven to crisp the crust.
Cut the loaf in half lengthwise and spread both cut sides with the mayo mixture. Add the fish fillets in a single layer, top with tomato slices and Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw.
Makes 2-4 servings of Cajun Perch Po Boy Sandwich