This is the time of year that I start to get cabin fever. I’ve had my fill of winter, boy has it been a long cold winter, and I’m ready to move on to spring, how about you! I’m ready to move on from the soups and stews that we all cook up in the winter and on to something with a little more spice. Something you can hold in your hand or eat with a fork instead of a spoon. I found a package of frozen crawfish tails at the store the other day and thought a Po Boy sure would be good. Then I went to pick up some lettuce and tomato to dress the sandwich when I found some slightly green tomatoes. They were starting to ripen but still green on top and firmer than a ripe tomato. That just made my mouth water thinking about a fried green tomato alongside crispy crawfish tails and remoulade sauce.
The remoulade sauce is a must on a Po Boy, at least I think so. My version includes mayo, red onion, prepared horseradish, creole mustard, vinegar, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and parsley. When I don’t have horseradish on hand I use Penzeys Horseradish dip mix diluted with 2 teaspoons of milk. It’s has a milder taste but makes a really good substitute for prepared horseradish.
I’m going to bread the crawfish tails and pan fry them for a light crispy coating. You could mix some cornmeal and flour together but I’m taking the easy route and using “Louisiana” breading mix plus a little blackening seasoning from Chef Paul Prudhomme for an added kick.
I added just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Layer the crawfish single file on the bottom of the skilet. I used a slotted spatula to shake off any excess breading before dropping into the pan.
If you have a large enough pan you can get them all in at once. If not, fry in batches. Let them cook over medium high heat until they crisp on the bottom (maybe 2 – 3 minutes) then flip over a few at a time until you have them all turned. Let them cook about a minute then start transferring them to a warming plate lined with a paper towel.
While I was frying the tomatoes, I split my hoagie rolls and set them in the oven to warm along with the crawfish. To assemble the sandwich I layered a leaf of lettuce in the fold, then placed 2 slices of fried green tomato. Pile on some crispy crawfish tails then spoon a little remoulade sauce over top. Dig in!
Crawfish Po Boys with Fried Green Tomato
4 Hoagie Rolls
1 lb Crawfish Tails, peeled and cooked
1 cup Louisiana Breading Mix (or substitute 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup cornmeal)
1 tablespoon Blackening Seasoning (I used Paul Prudhomme’s Blackening Seasoning)
Vegetable Oil for frying
2 Green Tomatoes, sliced into 8 thick slices
2 teaspoons FGT Seasoning, recipe follows
1/2 cup Flour
Remoulade Sauce, recipe follows
Rinse and pat dry crawfish tails. Combine breading mix and blackening seasoning in a zip lock bag, then shake to mix. Add the crawfish tails to the bag of breading mix and shake until all the crawfish are coated with seasoned breading. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Use a slotted spatula to shake off any excess breading and drop the crawfish into the skillet in a single layer. Cook 2 – 3 minutes or until the crawfish become crispy on the bottom. Begin turning the crawfish to cook on the other side and cook another minute or two until the crawfish are crisp. Transfer to a warming plate lined with a paper towel. Keep warm in oven on the lowest temperature while you fry the tomatoes.
Slice the hoagie rolls and place in the oven along with the crawfish to warm.
Heat another cast iron skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom with vegetable oil. Sprinkle each slice of tomato with FGT seasoning and dredge in flour. Fry the tomatoes 1 – 2 minutes on each side just until they are slightly crisp.
To assemble sandwich, place a leaf of lettuce in the fold of each hoagie roll. Layer with 2 slices of tomato for each sandwich, pile on some crispy crawfish tails and top with remoulade sauce.
Makes 4 Po Boys
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Creole Mustard or Dijon coarse ground mustard
1 1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish (or 1 1/4 teaspoons Penzey’s Horseradish Dip diluted with 2 teaspoons milk)
2 teaspoons finely chopped Red Onion
1/4 teaspoon dried Parsley
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Pinch of Black Pepper
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Salt
FGT Seasoning (From Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seasoned America)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
1 teaspoon White Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sweet Basil
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg