Before we get to the food, there’s a little bit of business that must be attended to first. I’m very excited to announce that this is the first in a series of non-consecutive posts to appear on From James to Jamie as part of what I’m entitling “The Old Yale Series”. I’ve partnered up with the good folks over at Old Yale Brewing (OYB), home of the Canadian Brewing Awards 2014 Beer of the Year, to come up with some simple and delicious recipes featuring their award-winning beers. Obviously it goes without saying that although these will be sponsored posts, all opinions expressed will be my own. Also, I should mention that in addition to appearing on my blog, an adapted version (same recipe, different format) will be appearing on their site as well.
Now, for those of my readers with access to OYB’s line-up of beers (click here to see a list of retailers in British Columbia and Alberta), I highly recommended you stick to the original beer these recipes are created and taste-tested with. For those of you unlucky readers unable to get your hands on the specific OYB called for in a particular recipe, I highly recommend checking out OYB’s website not only to see what you’re missing, but to better understand the type of beer originally called for, that you’ll ultimately need to replace.
With all that said, there’s little time to introduce my first recipe as an official OYB “Brand Ambassador”, so I’ll make this short. Hailing from New Orleans, Po’ Boys (also spelled “Po Boys” or “Po-Boys”, and all stemming from the phrase “Poor Boy”) are a traditional sandwich that includes a baguette-style bread and oftentimes fried seafood. My version isn’t aiming at being spot-on traditional, but rather uses the idea of a Po’ Boy as a rough guide. The result was so good, I’m actually disappointed in myself for not throwing something like this up on the blog sooner.
As a little note about the recipe, I made my own cheat aioli (using mayo, chipotle power, and lemon juice), but I’ve found that chipotle powder can be difficult to come by in some areas. If that’s the case where you live, my hope is that you’ll at least be able to find a ready-made, store-bought version to use. As well, this recipe is much more of a guideline than most of my others simply because of the nature of the meal. Who am I to outline how many slices of tomato you should throw on your sandwich, or what an acceptable amount of mayonnaise is? I mean, if you’d like more shrimp, I wholeheartedly applaud you in frying up some more (and there should be enough batter to allow this). If you run out of batter, simply make more using the rough flour/corn flour/beer 1/1/2 ratio shown below (adding a hint of salt, or course). If you run out of aoili, it only takes a moment to whip up a little more. Seriously, it’s easy, delicious, and by no means a rigid recipe (though following it closely will absolutely lead you to fried shrimp sandwich bliss).
Now, without further ado, Beer-Battered Shrimp Po’ Boys featuring Old Yale Brewing’s Knotty Blonde Ale:
Beer Battered Shrimp Po’ Boys
For the beer-battered shrimp:
- 20-32 pre-cooked Pacific White Shrimp (or similar)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-grain corn flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup Old Yale Brewing Knotty Blonde Ale
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups frying oil (such as canola)
For the aioli:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
For the sandwich:
- 1 large baguette (or 2-4 hoagie-style buns, depending on size)
- 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
- 4 leaves of Romaine lettuce, roughly torn
- In a medium-sized pot, add in just enough oil to match the width of your shrimp (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups) and place over medium heat. While that’s heating up, prep the other components.
- Make the beer-batter first. Whisk together the two flours and the salt. Pour in the OYB Knotty Blonde Ale and whisk to combine. Set aside for later.
- Make the aioli next by simply combining together the three ingredients. Set aside for later.
- If your shrimp are initially frozen, place in a large bowl with cold water for five minutes. Once they’ve defrosted, drain them in a colander, pat dry (wet shrimp dilutes the batter and forces you to thicken it with extra flour), and remove the tails (if applicable).
- When the oil is hot enough (if you have an oil thermometer, you’re looking for about 165° C), test a single piece of battered shrimp (or better yet, a tail) by placing in the hot oil. The right temperature will mean an evenly-coated piece of shrimp (or tail), nice and golden after about 2-3 minutes. Too low of a temperature will see your batter coating break apart when it hits the oil, whereas too high of a temperature means very crispy, burnt-tasting batter.
- Once you’re satisfied with the heat of your oil, work in batches frying the shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes (you’re not re-cooking the shrimp, just heating and creating a crispy coating) flipping partway through to ensure even browning. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towel. Be sure to manage your oil closely, as each addition of cold shrimp lowers the temperature.
- Once all the shrimp is fried up, assemble your sandwiches. Cut your baguette into 4 pieces, slice each in half lengthwise (almost all the way through), then slather the bottom with mayonnaise and the top with aioli. Toss in some lettuce, a few slices of tomato, then pack in 5-8 golden fried shrimp (depending on whether you opted for 20, 24, 28 or 32 shrimp to begin with).
- Enjoy, preferably alongside OYB’s Knotty Blonde Ale and a large napkin or three
As I often do, I’m sharing this recipe with my friends over at Fiesta Friday. This week’s cohosts are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting with Friends. If you check out Sandhya’s blog, try not to drool too much over her Chicken Vindaloo Tacos. If sweets are more your thing, then Nancy’s Milk Bar Confetti Cookies may have you breaking out your baking supplies.