Shrimp and Pineapple Not-So Po' Boys
- 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
- Kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons Cajun shrimp seasoning (recommended: Cajun's choice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 serrano pepper, seeds and membrane removed, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained, finely chopped
- Small handful minced cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Cornmeal, for dredging
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 big po' boy buns, split
- Lettuce and sliced tomato, for topping sandwiches
In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with a hefty sprinkling of salt, and massage gently. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes then rinse. This helps plump the shrimp especially if they were previously frozen.
In a skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive of oil over low heat, until shimmering Add the cumin and fennel, it should splutter.
Stir in the onion and serrano pepper and saute until softened and has picked up a little color. Add the turmeric and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the pineapple and toss to coat with the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and mayonnaise and stir to combine.
Add some cornmeal to a shallow plate. Coat each shrimp evenly with cornmeal, while you warm up a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering (hot), add the shrimp in batches. Flip after 2 minutes, or when they start to change color. Cook another 2 minutes on the other side, until cooked to your liking (don't overcook, and should only take 5 minutes, tops!). Remove the shrimp from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate.
To build the po' boy: Slather the pineapple-mayonnaise mixture on 1 side of each bun bottom. Spoon a generous helping of shrimp over the top. Add some lettuce and tomato and cover with the bun tops. Wrap in plastic and aluminum foil and you're ready for the picnic!
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira, 2010