Spicy Fried "Blt" Oyster Po'boy with Jalapeno Mayonnaise

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 15 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 45 min
Cook: 10 min
 
YIELD: 2 (8-inch) po'boys, 2 to 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Red Hot Sauce, recipe follows or your favorite red hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked and drained
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 (8-inch) lengths of po'boy bread, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Jalapeno Mayonnaise, recipe follows
  • Shaved lettuce, for garnishing sandwiches
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 strips crispy fried bacon
HOMEMADE RED HOT SAUCE:
  • 20 tabasco or serrano chiles, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices, or 12 very ripe red jalapenos (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
JALAPENO MAYONNAISE:
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno pepper(s), stemmed, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
EMERIL'S ESSENCE CREOLE SEASONING (ALSO REFERRED TO AS BAYOU BLAST):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
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Directions

Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, and half of the Essence in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the oysters and allow to marinate for up to 45 minutes, refrigerated.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the masa harina, flour, and remaining Essence and stir to blend.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium heavy pot or deep-fryer until the temperature measures 360 degrees F. Working in batches, remove the oysters from the buttermilk marinade and transfer to the masa harina mixture. Dredge to coat, shaking to remove any excess breading. Repeat with the remaining oysters. Cook the oysters, in batches, until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining oysters.

When you are finished frying the oysters, spread the bottom cut side of each bread portion with some of the melted butter. Spread the top cut side of the bread generously with the Jalapeno Mayonnaise. Divide the oysters evenly among the bottom bread portions and top with lettuce and tomatoes. Divide the avocado slices and fried bacon strips evenly among the sandwiches. Place the sandwich tops over the fillings and press lightly. Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Combine the peppers, garlic, onions, salt and oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until peppers are very soft and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. (Note: this should be done in a very well-ventilated area!) Remove from the heat and allow to steep until mixture comes to room temperature. In a food processor, puree the mixture for 15 seconds, or until smooth. With the food processor running, add the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream.

Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. (This will depend on the heat level of the peppers you use as well as the brand of vinegar used.) Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then transfer to a sterilized pint jar or bottle and secure with an airtight lid. Refrigerate. Let age at least 2 weeks before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Yield: 2 cups

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use or serve.

Yield: about 2/3 cup
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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