We can't drive by a Popeyes without Nick trying (I'll be honest, begging) me to stop and let him feast on fried shrimp and chicken with a side of biscuits. I will undoubtedly turn up my nose and start lecturing him about the insane about of fat, calories and sodium in the food. Just call me the fast food cop - saving the world one Bacon Double Cheeseburger at a time.
Cooking Light magazine's "Recipe Makeover" section may just keep me from turning into a complete food nag. Each month, the magazine makes a healthier version of our favorite calorie-bomb foods that we just can't live without. This month's makeover is the Shrimp Po'boy sandwich. I had to try it given my husband's fried shrimp obsession.
We made these hearty (yet healthy) sandwiches on the Fourth of July, so I had a bit more time to mess around in the kitchen. They are relatively easy, but preparing the sandwiches will take you about an hour or so. Be sure to get the pre-packaged coleslaw mix to save some time as well (shredding your own cabbage is messy business). I used pre-cooked shrimp to make these, but I think raw would be better. The extra cooking time would allow for a crunchier cornmeal coating on the shrimp.
After an intense morning spin class, we tore into the po'boys like there was no tomorrow (I was even practicing my Guy Fieri "hunch" to get the entire baguette into my mouth). The spicy Cajun flavor from the slaw was balanced by the crusty French bread and juicy tomato slices. Grated lemon rind adds a nice brightness to the shrimp as well.
Serve the po'boys alongside some baked chips and a fruit salad, and you've got yourself a delicious and guilt-free meal, y'all. I'm collecting recipes for our family vacation in the Outer Banks, and I think this one will definitely be in the running for lunch or a light dinner!
Lightened-Up Shrimp Po'boys
Adapted from Cooking Light (July 2012 issue)
For the Rémoulade slaw -
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat canola mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 1/2 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
For the Po'boys -
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 large egg white
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 (2 1/2-ounce) pieces French bread baguette, split and toasted
- 3 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
To prepare po'boys, combine cornstarch and next 4 ingredients (through egg white) in a medium bowl; whisk until blended. Add shrimp; toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, stirring once.
Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Place torn bread in a food processor; process until very fine crumbs form. Set aside 1/2 cup breadcrumbs; reserve remaining breadcrumbs for another use. Combine 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and black pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine.
Remove shrimp from bowl; discard marinade. Add shrimp to breadcrumb mixture. Seal and shake to coat.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.
Arrange tomato slice on bottom half of bread. Top with 1/2 cup slaw and one quarter of shrimp. Cover with top half of bread.