Saturday, April 23, 2011

The History of a Sandwich and Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade Sauce

I have been in love with remoulade sauce since the first time I tasted it. Tangy, slightly pungent, and creamy, I could probably pour remoulade over all manner of food: burgers, steak...cereal.

So what better way to celebrate my love for remoulade than to make a healthy version of a classic: the shrimp po' boy. A long and storied history is attached to the poor boy sandwich, which originated in--you guessed it--New Orleans in 1929 at a little coffee stand turned sandwich shop run by two brothers, Clovis and Bennie Martin.

At the time, streetcar operators went on strike, which lasted several months. The Martin brothers decided to show their support for the down and out workers by offering them free sandwiches. According to the letter the Martin brothers wrote to the workers, archived at Tulane University, "We are with you till hell freezes, and when it does, we will furnish blankets to keep you warm." They kept good on their word, and the name of the sandwich came along when the workers showed up for their free sandwiches. They would utter the phrase "Here comes another poor boy," thus giving birth to one of the most recognizable sandwich names in American culinary history. Bon appetit!

Shrimp Po' Boy
from Ezra Pound Cake

1 loaf whole wheat French baguette
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Creole seasoning
Crunchy fresh lettuce
Tomato slices
Remoulade sauce (recipe below)


1. Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and Creole seasoning. Heat a grill pan to medium-high, and grill the shrimp for about 3 minutes each side. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and set aside.

2. Split the baguette horizontally, scoop out some of the bread (if desired), and spread the Spicy Remoulade Sauce on both sides of the bread.

3. Place the shrimp on the bottom half of the baguette. Then pile on the shredded lettuce and tomato slices. Place the top half of the bread onto the sandwich, and divide the sandwich in half vertically to make two sandwiches.

Remoulade Sauce
adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Smart Beat Omega3)
1/4 cup stone-ground mustard (preferably Creole)
1 clove garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
Dash of Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce


Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.

Note: if you make the remoulade sauce a day ahead of time, the sauce will be even more intense in flavor.


  1. Omg have you tried Mexican corn, Elote?
    This recipe sounds awesome!! I know you will love elote! It's super easy. Just grill some corn and then take some mayo, mix with paprika, lime juice, cayenne pepper. Slather on the corn, then sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Heaven in your mouth! Now I must try your sauce!!!

  2. Yup--I've made that before, especially in the summer with flank steak and chimichurri sauce. SOOO tasty.