Recipe for Oyster Po’ Boy, from The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant Cookbook
Authors Sandy Ingber and Roy Finamore on Oyster Po’ Boy:
This sandwich is our tribute to New Orleans.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Kim:
Although I love all kinds of seafood prepared in all possible ways, my favorite way to eat seafood is fried, which seems to enhance the true flavor of the dish. I chose to test the Oyster Po’ Boy recipe since oysters are readily available in my area. The list of ingredients was simple and featured a seasoning that has a permanent place on my spice shelf: Old Bay Seasoning. I made my own cracker meal by crushing saltines in a food processor. The salty, crisp oysters combined with the dense, chewiness of the ciabatta bread and the tanginess of the tartar sauce made the perfect po’ boy sandwich.
Oyster Po' Boy
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups cracker meal (see Note)
- ¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
- tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 20 Bluepoint oysters, shucked and drained
- Canola oil for frying
For the sandwiches
- 4 (6-inch) ciabatta loaves
- Tartar Sauce
- 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Set up for what we call “standard breading procedure”: put the flour in a shallow bowl; put the eggs in a second shallow bowl and beat them with a fork; put the cracker meal, bread crumbs, cornmeal, and Old Bay in a third shallow bowl and whisk to combine.
Spread the oysters out on several layers of paper towels and blot them as dry as possible.
Heat about 3 inches of canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat to 360°F.
Toss the oysters in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the oysters into the egg, coating them completely. Lift them out by the handful and let any excess egg drip off, then place the oysters into the breading and toss to coat them completely.
Transfer the oysters to the baking sheet. To cut down on mess, keep one hand dry and use the other hand for wet. If the breading begins to clump, put it through a coarse sieve.
Fry the oysters in small batches—crowding the pan will lower the temperature of the oil and the oysters will come out greasy—until lightly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
TO MAKE THE SANDWICHES:
Split the ciabatta loaves and slather each cut side with about 1 tablespoon tartar sauce. Arrange 5 oysters on each sandwich, topping them with ¼ cup shredded lettuce. Put the tops on the sandwiches, slice them in half, and serve.
Note: If you can’t find cracker meal, you can make your own. Pulse saltine crackers in a food processor to very fine crumbs. Put the crumbs through a coarse strainer to remove any large pieces. An 8-ounce box of crackers will make about 2¼ cups of cracker meal.
© 2013 Sandy Ingber and Roy Finamore
Reprinted with permission from The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant Cookbook, by Sandy Ingber and Roy Finamore (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang)