Shrimp Po’Boys by Krystal Keith – I’m delighted to introduce to you a special guest visiting with me today in my kitchen. Krystal Keith, daughter of Country music singer and songwriter Toby Keith, is not only a talented singer and songwriter herself but, she loves to cook, too. You can find her cooking up a storm at The Barnyard Bistro. I’m so happy she took time before leaving on tour to stop by and share one of her favorite recipes with me, a Louisiana classic, her very own Shrimp Po’Boys. Welcome, Krystal, take it away….
I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma no more than 10 miles from any relative (except for my uncle, he is the black sheep of the family that moved off to Florida and became a preacher – ok so not really a black sheep, more like the only saint among my rowdy bunch). We didn’t do family dinners, we did family feasts! We would all gather in a barn or cram ourselves around every nook and cranny of my Grannie’s kitchen table to do what we do best, eat. And none of that “make the kids plates first” non-sense, we were warned that we better get in there before the men get in there ‘cause they may not leave us any. My Poppa had the most incredible garden that my sister and I spent hours in digging up worms and running through crop rows barefoot. We would take baskets and baskets of his veggies into the kitchen where my Grannie would wash them up and explain what all we were about to do with them. As far back as I can remember I knew how to cook. It wasn’t something I ever had to learn. I hear parents tell their kids all the time to get out of the kitchen so that dinner can be cooked and that concept is completely foreign to me. In our family, the more hands the better. I was raised on over 5 generations of recipes handed down and that legacy is what lies at the heart of my passion for food and my obsession with sharing those traditions with fans, friends and family.
I’m gonna stop yapping and get to the grub! This recipe was inspired by my dad. Every time we make a trip to New Orleans he has to stop off and grab a Po’ Boy at one of his hot spots. I heard about how good the Po’ Boys down in the Deep South were for ten years before I ever got one and Lord have mercy was he right?! A sandwich doesn’t get much better than this, it has crunch, cream, crisp veggies and bread perfection that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. This is by far one of our favorite sandwiches to eat on my little homestead.
- 1 lb small shrimp, peeled and tails removed
- 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning, divided
- ⅔ cup flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- Olive oil (or other) for frying
- 4 French bread hoagies (6-inch)
- Granulated garlic
- 1½ cup Baby spinach
- 8 Tomato slices
- Red onion slices
- Turn on your ovens broiler setting. You will need 3 bowls for this process.
- In the first bowl, toss the shrimp in 1 tsp of the Old Bay seasoning.
- In the second bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce; mix well. Add the shrimp to the buttermilk mixture and toss.
- In the third bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and remaining 2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning; mix well.
- Cover the bottom of a deep skillet with ¼ inch of oil and heat.
- Drop the buttermilk coated shrimp 3-4 at a time into the flour mixture and toss to coat with flour mixture.
- When oil is hot, reduce heat to medium and place battered shrimp one at a time into the oil ensuring that there is space left between each one. Let fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side (fry time with vary depending on the size of your shrimp).
- Carefully remove from oil with tongs and let drain onto a paper towel.
- Cut your French bread hoagies and lightly butter the inside; sprinkle with granulated garlic and broil, butter side up until toasted (this only takes a minute so keep your eye on it).
- To construct your sandwich: Begin by spreading mayonnaise on the lower half, place baby spinach, then tomatoes and red onion. Top with shrimp and close it in with the top half of your hoagie.