My Grandmother Emma


This is another rich tradition associated with food originating in New Orleans, Louisiana. The word on the street, told by the Times-Picayune, is the Martin brothers invented the po-boy to feed some 1,800 striking streetcar drivers and motormen in New Orleans in 1929.  The sandwiches were given to the striking men for free.There is not end to the ingredients that you can use to make a po-boy. Some of the most traditional po-boy sandwiches are roast beef, ham and cheese, shrimp or pink, oysters, softshell crab, catfish, hot sausage and meatball.

I’m gonna start by making my aioli:  1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, 2 teaspoon capers, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard.  1-quart medium oysters, drained, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 3 eggs, 3 cups self-rising cornmeal, 1/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 2 1/4 teaspoons seasoning salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon cayenne, 2 sourdough baguettes, cut in half lengthwise, 2 firm tomatoes, sliced, small red onion, thinly sliced, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced bread and butter pickles, oil for frying, salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, add the buttermilk mix well and drop in the oysters and let stand for at least 10 minutes.   Get out a gallon size freezer bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper, mix well. Take the oysters from the egg batter.  Hold them in your hands, allow the excess to drip off.  Drop them into the cornmeal mixture.  Shake up gently in the bag until they are well coated.  Get out the heavy skillet add enough oil to deep fry the oysters.  Heat oil to 400 degrees. Fry the oysters until they are golden brown on all sides.  This step takes about 3-4 minutes. Make sure not to over crowd allow space between each oyster.  Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel.

Remove the bread from one side of the baguette, it is gonna look like a boat.  Toast until light brown.  Spread the aioli3 on both sides. On the boat side add the lettuce, oysters, tomato slices, onions, pickles, salt and pepper to taste.  My grandmother, Emma would always serve her sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries, sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and sugar.



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