Friday, October 21, 2011

Grilled Shrimp Po-Boys, Darrell's Style.

Okay, squeezing this one in before my hubs comes to pick me up, & then we're headed to St. Louis for GAME ONE OF THE WORLD SERIES! (NOTE: In case it's not obvious, I started writing this blog update yesterday. And the game was AWESOME.)

As you can tell, I'm pretty stoked. The tickets cost us a pretty penny (several pennies, actually) & it's supposed to be in the 50's around game time, but hey--once in a lifetime experience, and we figure we ought to go now, when it's being held a mere 4 hours away, and when we don't have kids & babysitters to worry about yet.

So anyway...where were we? Ah yes---FOOD.

The other night I got a craving for a po'boy...and not just ANY po'boy, but something very very very specific: A Grilled Shrimp Po-boy from Darrell's in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Once upon a time (aka, when I still lived in Louisiana), my work took me to Lake Charles rather often, and Darrell's was the prize waiting at the end of a gross, humid day in the southwestern Chenier wetlands.

THIS is a shrimp poboy from Darrell's:

What makes it so special, you ask? I assume you're only asking because you've never BEEN to Darrell's. I have been waiting YEARS for Darrell's to get selected for Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives, because it's oh-so-very deserving. It's a hole-in-the-wall sports bar, and their menu is limited to their po-boys...but the thing about a limited menu is that when you focus on something so intently, you have the time to get every little detail right.

Fresh french bread, buttered & grilled for that perfect crunch...then, not one, but TWO kinds of cheese melted onto the bread...then, piled high with buttery, garlicky, piping hot cajun-seasoned grilled Gulf shrimp...then dressed with shredded lettuce & tomato upon request...but the piece de resistance...the jalapeno mayo slathered along the inside. Holy moly. It's just all anyone could ask for as far as flavors go inside a sandwich. Serve it up with a pickle spear, Zapp's potato chips, and (if you're off the clock) a nice cold beer, and life is perfect.

It's also a gawd-awful amount of calories to take in. I can't say for sure (since the limited menu doesn't include NutriFacts), but I'd estimate a cool 600-800 just for the sandwich. It's all that delicious butter, cheese and mayo---the things that make this sandwich so FRIGGIN' awesome! does one satisfy a craving for something that is not only 12 hours away, but also horribly bad for you?

We modify, of course....and we end up with this:

(Normally I would also include lettuce & tomato, but this particular sandwich was made for one of those folks who hates vegetables. Bunch'a sillies...)

One of the quickest ways to cut down calories is to also trim the portion size. A Darrell's po-boy could easily make two meals, if you could pry the delicious thing away from your mouth. So instead of an 8" slice of loaf (which has about 300 calories all by itself, look for a bag of large whole wheat or 7-Grain dinner rolls at the store, which will only cost you about 120 calories--and the less processed grains are just a nice bonus.

NOTE: If you're looking for a low-sodium recipe, you might have to make some modifications to this, as the end result has about 1000mg of sodium, which is just about half of your daily recommended intake. BUT--if you're reading this blog, and you're interested in low-salt cooking, you possibly already have salt-free cajun seasoning onhand, which will knock that down a reasonable bit. But aside from that, this recipe is pretty much chock-full of goodness.

- butter flavored cooking spray, or if you have an oil mister, use that with some garlic olive oil (because either option will add flavor without all the fat... NOTE: if you'd like to know how to make your own garlic infused olive oil, check out this entry from the Garlicster blog)
- (1) 1-pound bag of shrimp (because if you live in a landlocked state like me, fresh is probably not an affordable option). You can get pre-cooked or uncooked, or whatever size you prefer...I prefer the large to jumbo size for most things, but for this purpose, mediums are just fine, since they're going inside a sandwich. If you can get Louisiana shrimp at a good price, I always recommend that---always good to support domestic fisheries. I know more than my share of Louisiana commercial fishermen--they're good peeps. I usually go with pre-peeled fresh frozen shrimps, so I don't accidentally overcook them....and because peeling shrimp is a pain. If you get the tail-on shrimp, you'll want to remove those prior to cooking as well. :D
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp dried green onion
- 1 tsp Butter Buds (you can add more of this to taste if you'd like your shrimp to be more buttery flavored...also, they now make a Bacon Butter Buds if you want to give your sandwich a whole extra layer of flavor)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- shredded lettuce (OR--I like to use Dole's Broccoli Slaw mix because a) it seems to be on sale ALL the time, b) it stays fresh longer in my fridge, c) it adds a really great crunch to just about anything, and d) it's better for you than plain ol' shredded iceburg lettuce, with one serving containing a mere 25 calories, but 35% of your daily Vitamin A and 120% of your Vitamin C.
- ripe tomato, sliced
- two different kinds of 2% milk cheese slices. Pick your favorites. I like to use cheddar and pepperjack together, but regular american, swiss, white american, etc...any would work. You'll need one slice of each per sandwich. You can go the fat free route if you want, but I think the 2% melts better.

And for the jalapeno mayo: (note--this will make enough for about 4 sandwiches. I usually only make two sandwiches at a time, but my husband & I like the jalapeno mayo so much that we make extra to use on other sandwiches throughout the week.)
1/2 cup light mayo (NOTE: Miracle Whip will NOT work right for this recipe....just not the same flavor. And I'm normally a Miracle Whip person, so trust me on this.)
6 pickled jalapeno slices (NOTE: I love the flavor of jalapenos, but sometimes the heat is a little overwhelming--if you're the same way, I recommend Mezzetta's Tamed Jalapeno Slices--there's no seeds, so they're not quite as hot. My husband, however, LOVES jalapenos, so if I make it with the tamed slices, he ends up adding extra jalapeno slices to his sandwich. With only 5 calories in a serving, feel free to add as many as you want if you need to up the heat (You crazy heat-lovin' fool, you!!!)

1. Make the mayo first, since the flavors need a little while to blend. Super simple--dice up the jalapeno slices, mix into the mayo. Add a splash of the juice from the jar. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Then heat a frying pan over medium heat. Spray the pan with your oil. Once the pan is nice & hot, add the shrimp & all your seasonings, including the Butter Buds, and toss well to coat. Add the water & quickly cover pan with a glass lid (so you can see what's going on in there--no funny business, shrimps!) and "shuffle" the pan to keep everything moving. Keep covered for at least one minute, Then set the lid aside and stir. Your "sauce" should thicken up a little & look nice & buttery (and it will probably smell awesome, too). Once your shrimp are nice & pink (check one to make sure they're cooked through), turn the heat to low to keep them warm while you prep the bread.

3. Set your oven to Broil. slice your bread/rolls open like a clam shell & place them on a cookie sheet, bread-innards up. Lightly spritz the bread with your garlic olive oil or the butter spray, then place your cheeses onto the bread (tear the slices in half if you need to in order to get them to fit on the rolls properly--stack the cheese together in a layer, two halves of each slice on each side of the upward-facing bread. Then slide them into the top rack of your oven so that they're just a few inches from the broiler & WATCH CAREFULLY so you don't burn them. We just want the bread to get crispy & the cheese to get melty--we're not trying to set anything on fire.

4. Remove the bread from the oven once the cheese is ooey-gooey. Pile your shrimp mixture on the bottom, then some lettuce & tomato, & then slather about 1 tbsp of your jalapeno mayo onto the top. Fold over onto itself & try not to drool.

5. Serve with a pickle spear & chips...Zapps if you can get them, if not, some nice Baked Lays work just fine. :D

Nutritional facts: (per sandwich)

Calories 376.3
Total Fat 14.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 154.5 mg
Sodium 1,072.8 mg
Potassium 614.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.8 g
Sugars 5.8 g
Protein 29.6 g
Vitamin A 73.7 %
Vitamin B-12 16.4 %
Vitamin B-6 10.6 %
Vitamin C 124.2 %
Vitamin D 32.3 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 41.2 %
Copper 17.1 %
Folate 19.8 %
Iron 24.1 %
Magnesium 16.2 %
Manganese 39.2 %
Niacin 18.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.1 %
Phosphorus 25.7 %
Riboflavin 6.8 %
Selenium 65.8 %
Thiamin 8.7 %
Zinc 10.3 %

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