I have seen po’boy spelled all sorts of ways. “Poor boy”. “Po’ Boy”. “Poboy”. And the obligatory “cajun” spelling of “Peaux Boy”. Regardless of how you choose to spell it, the end result is the same: a big ass sandwich.
Not too long ago I was chatting with an acquaintance who just moved to the area from somewhere in the North. We were discussing some of the good places to eat around here.
I said, “Oh! Ya know who has a good roast beef po’boy??? So-and-so place!” (Name changed to protect me from having to wait for my next roast beef po’boy)
To which he replied, “You mean, they put shrimp right there on top of the roast beef?”
Rather than smack this person, I understood that he was not from the area and was clearly misinformed about po’boys.
“No, man! You can put anything on a po’boy! It’s just a sandwich!”
While many times a po’boy may consist of some sort of seafood (shrimp being the most popular), it is certainly not a necessity. I blew this chap’s mind when I told him of a local joint that had a killer cheeseburger po’boy.
Like a gumbo, a po’boy is almost foolproof. Meaning you can put whatever you want in it and not fuck it up. Sure, there are people out there who believe every po’boy should have “this” or should never have “that”, but I would argue that some of the best ones I’ve ever had stretched beyond the boundaries of what a traditional poboy is considered to be.
With that said, some people may not like meat of any sort. This year during Lent I am abstaining from meat. And by meat, I mean the Catholic definition. I call it the “every day Friday” Lent. So, basically, I’m a pescetarian until Easter, which is weird, because I’m not really religious at all. I just feel like the act of denying oneself is good occasionally, and the period after the decadence of Mardi Gras is as good a time as any.
Yesterday I made one of my best friend’s favorite dishes: a french fry po’boy. In case you’re feeling extra dense, this is a po’boy with french fries instead of meat. The reason I did this, and am posting about it here, is because he was the first person to comment on the new Bayou Babylon facebook page, and also because I just enjoy making him happy.
I also should point out that I am lazy. I did everything in this po’boy as easily and quickly as possible, including buying all the ingredients at my local supermarket, rather than different places for fresher and better items.
You will need:
#1. A baguette or something similar. I like a french bread that is as chewy and hard as possible. This is different than stale.
#2. French Fries. as you can see in this photo, I went all out and got the fancy “crinkle cut” fries. I went with frozen over cutting up a bunch of potatoes myself. I’m sure that would be better, but like I said, I am lazy and I was hungry.
#4. Condiments. Another thing some may say is a no-no. In this case, I bought some tartar sauce and some cocktail sauce. Some areas of the world (like Willieland) may not stock these items. Cocktail sauce is just ketchup and horseradish, so make some yourself if you can’t find any. Tartar sauce is just mayonnaise, dill relish, and a little lemon juice. You would think the esoteric “Cream of Tartar” might be in there somewhere, but it isn’t. I guess you could throw some in there, if you want. Let me know how it turns out.
#5. Cheese (not pictured). Once again, this is yet another thing that some purists may not want on their po’boy. Obviously if you are vegan, you can skip this step. And the tartar sauce. Cheese makes almost anything better, and po’boys are no exception.
Take your ingredients and pile them up:
Put your cheese on next. This will act as a barrier between the hot french fries and your lettuce, so the lettuce doesn’t get all soft and slimy and gross. I like the cold crisp lettuce, mixed with the scorching hot french fries, right out of the oven or fryer.
Pile your french fries high! Dust them with some Tony’s if you want. I like to do that, but it’s not necessary, of course.
How did it turn out?
Well, this is not my first rodeo. Nor is it my first french fry po’boy. But this one turned out ok. As a carnivore by nature, I would’ve rather had a roast beef po’boy with shrimp on top of it, but for vegetarians or others who don’t want to eat meat, this is something different that is good and, more or less, authentic (with my sack of frozen fries, ha!).
And really, if you put enough cocktail sauce on it, I might could be convinced that there was a shrimp in there somewhere.
So that’s it, the first post on Bayou Babylon and it’s about something as ridiculous as french fry poboys. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll make your own at home and enjoy that too. If you followed me here from fitfordragoncon, I appreciate your continued support, and if you’re new here, welcome.