I love sandwiches.
Slap some meat, some fresh veggies, maybe a little cheese between two pieces of bread, and you probably shouldn’t turn your back on it around me.
With such a massive variety of options, it tough to point at one and say, “That’s my favorite!”, but somewhere very high on the list would be a classic New Orleans Dressed Oyster Po’Boy.
The po’ boy, a style of sub sandwich from Louisiana, typically consists of meat, often roast beef with gravy, fried seafood, chicken, or ham,served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread. The traditional versions are served hot and include fried shrimp and oysters. Soft shell crab, catfish, crawfish, Louisiana hot sausage, fried chicken breast, roast beef, and French fries are what’s most often found on the local menus.
A “dressed” po’ boy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo; onions are optional.
In 1929, during a four-month strike against the New Orleans streetcar company, a local sandwich shop served striking drivers free sandwiches. The servers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”, and the name was quickly adopted to refer the the sandwiches themselves. In Louisiana dialect, this was eventually shortened to “po’ boy.”
Many feel that what makes a po-boy special is the French bread. Be warned, this isn’t your local grocery-store’s “French bread”. Baked locally, in the old brick ovens of real bakeries, New Orleans French bread has a crunchy crust with a light, airy center. It’s the contrast between crust and center that makes the po’boy loaf unique.
If, like me, you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of being on the opposite side of the continent from The Big Easy, you can make a tasty, if not perfect, approximation with a “take & bake” baguette, toasted until golden in a 400F oven.
Deep fry a few shucked oysters with seasoned flour, slap them on the split loaf with some mayo (or tartar sauce), shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and chopped onions…then sit back and enjoy the best sandwich ever…
Well…one of them, anyway.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.