Although shrimp aren't in the little river of the Smoky Mountains, being near/in the river all the time really causes me a craving for seafood.
Although, hanging around in the sun and the heat all day can REALLY ware someone out! Fortunately for me, one of the very easiest and fastest seafood dishes is also one of the best: shrimp po'boys!
Po'boys sandwiches, or "poor boys" sandwiches, originated in New Orleans (where most great food comes from, I might add). The restaurant in which they first started is a subject of much debate. It seems that the true origin was the Martin Brothers Restaurant around 1929. During a strike where many men were losing their jobs, the Martins would allow them to eat the sandwiches free of charge. As they promised in a letter to the strikers: "till hell freezes over."
Bennie Martin said, "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, 'Here comes another poor boy.'
Their generosity continued into the great depression where many families had to take advantage as well.
For a more detailed history AND a documentary on the origin of poor boys sandwiches, go to this website: http://www.poboyfest.com/history. It is a very interesting story!
Any time I can brag about Louisiana I will do just that. I'm not biased or anything...
Some people prefer fried shrimp in their po'boys. Although I obviously really enjoy it that way, I do like the "scampi" version you see here even better!
So, if you can't seem to beat the heat and you want a large meal that is done in 10 minutes, these po'boys will be for you.
Side note: freeze the shells that come off of your shrimp and continue doing so until you have gathered 5-6 lbs shrimp worth of shells. Then, you can make some delicious shrimp stock for even MORE seafood dishes. Yes please!!
Cooking/prep time: 10-15 minutes | Servings: 2 large servings
- 1 lb. large shrimp, deveined and shelled (I recommend asking the butcher to devein your shrimp for you, but DON'T toss those shells!)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 cloves freshly grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Salt Free Creole Seasoning, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 2 8"-10" loaves of bread - I find mine in the bakery section of the grocery store
- 6-7 leaves of green leaf lettuce (it really doesn't matter what you use as long as it isn't iceberg lettuce)
- about 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise per sandwich
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, and then add shelled and deveined shrimp, garlic, and seasonings. Cook until shrimp has curled and turned completely pink and opaque.
Open bread, add mayonnaise, and set aside.
Cut lettuce into ribbons by stacking leaves on top of each other and cutting 1/2" pieces horizontally. Lay desired amount on one side of each loaf. Split shrimp evenly and place on each sandwich.
Taste a piece of shrimp for seasoning, and serve immediately.
Here is a pin-able photo for Pinterest: