One of my favorite comfort foods is cheesy grits. Yummy, I’m probably going to have some for lunch right now. I thought I was all set with my recipe idea for this challenge: shrimp and bacon and corn and grits, oh my! But then I saw a tweet from my fellow Battle: YUM warrior: she had made shrimp grits the other day. Grr, she beat me to it. Great minds think alike, I guess, but I still needed a new plan. Shrimp grits had me stuck in a southern mode, so I went with it and came up with a shrimp po’ boy. I wanted to make corn salsa and thought that it might be good on the sandwich. Not quite New Orleans-style, but there’s nothing wrong with a good twist.
The maple-glazed bacon was a no-brainer. I thought I’d just add a slice to the po’ boy for a crispy, sweet touch. I baked the bacon and drizzled it with maple syrup when it just started to crisp up. I only made enough for the four sandwiches, but should have made extra. If you’re not going to wrap something in bacon, you might as well wrap the bacon in maple syrup. Oh, and speaking of maple syrup: we only use the real stuff in my house. None of that auntie or log cabin stuff. If it’s not in a jug, it’s not in our fridge.
I knew I would grill the shrimp instead of frying them, but wanted to add a bit of a spice to them. I scoured my spice drawer (and oh, how I love my spice drawer) and found it: a steak seasoning blend from Savory Spice Shop. You might think that a steak blend would not work with shrimp, but it was made with maple sugar, so it was just perfect to me.
I definitely wanted some kind of spread on the sandwich and figured a remoulade would go well with a po’ boy. I used Dijon mustard and scallions and it tasted good. Then I thought that I should bring in even more maple… but got kind of grossed out at the concept of maple remoulade. Maple syrup with mayonnaise and mustard? Yik. But then I figured that maple syrup COULD go with mustard since honey goes so well with it… and I took a risk. I put a little into the mixture, and it wasn’t half bad! The syrup gave it sweetness while the Dijon gave it a kick. I added some more and declared it yum. Well, yum enough. I’m sure that I’d be beaten down by Louisiana or French chefs.
That Battlemeister is so cruel… always picking ingredients which are out of season. Cruel, or just not a good planner. The supermarket had one small package of corn available. It looked OK… yellow and firm and ripe… but it was so expensive. I briefly considered getting frozen kernels but frozen corn in a salsa?!? Sounded worse than maple remoulade. So, I splurged. I threw in some lime juice, grape tomatoes, cilantro and scallions. Fresh salsa and fresh corn: oh, how I love you! It felt like summertime and I was in a happy place.
How did it all come together? I served it to the kids before the husband came home. Both kids weren’t really in the mood for a sandwich, or the bread was just too much for them. They ate the insides out of the sandwich with a fork. The girl said “I like the parts separately but not together”… she picked out the shrimp, then the bacon, then the corn, then the arugula, then some of the shrimp out of the husband’s sandwich. The boy pretty much did the same.
I really liked the combination. It was a lot of bread… but that’s part of the po’ boy experience, I think. It was sweet and crunchy and fun to eat. The husband finally came home and ate his sandwich cold. Some of his feedback: “Awesome”, “I’m sure it would have been even better when it was toasty and warm”, “Definitely a winner”, “Definitely outside the box”. FINALLY, he doesn’t think I’m in a box anymore.
OK, now I’m off to make those shrimp grits anyway!! Yum!
Grilled Shrimp Po’ Boy with Maple-Glazed Bacon, Corn Salsa and Maple Remoulade
IngredientsGrilled Shrimp Po Boy
- 16 jumbo shrimp
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, separated
- 1 tsp Pearl St. Plank Rub (from Savory Spice Shop, includes: maple sugar, smoked sweet paprika, salt, chiles, garlic and yellow mustard powder)
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 4 club rolls
- 2 slices bacon
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ear corn, grilled slightly, kernels cut off
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- parsley to taste
Toss the shrimp in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with spices. Grill until pink and no longer translucent. Toss arugula in 1 Tbsp olive oil also, and mix in additional spices if desired.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the bacon in a tray with sides. When much of the grease has rendered, drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup per strip. Bake a few minutes, turn, and drizzle with more syrup. Bake until crisp.
Combine corn salsa ingredients in a small bowl.
Combine remoulade ingredients in a small bowl.
Open a roll and toast it. Spread with maple remoulade. Add a layer of arugula, then a slice of bacon, then four shrimp, then top with a few spoonfuls of corn salsa