I’m leaving this afternoon to begin my 12 hour treck to New Orleans for IFBC! ROAD TRIP! I am super excited about this conference for these reasons:

  • Meeting new people! I only know a few bloggers that are going to be there; so it’s a great opportunity to stretch myself and make new friends! And let’s be real – I go to these things for the people! The food blogging community is awesome – it’s so neat to have made friends from all over the country!
  • Visiting New Orleans for the 1st time! I’ve heard SO many great things, but have never ever been there – I am ecstatic to try out the authentic Cajun flavors and hear jazz music in all it’s glory! 
  • The hubs is coming along! I’m super excited to explore a new city with my BFF!
  • Beignets (uh, of course we’ll be stopping at Cafe du Monde for their infamous beignets!!)

So, to get in the spirit of New Orleans I started cooking some Louisiana fare last week starting with this fabulous Po Boy:

So apparently my hubby is rubbing off on me with his random information research; I googled the history of the po boy and it’s actually REALLY interesting! So there are numerous legends as to how they came about but the most believed story is the only one that has documentation and evidence to be true. The story goes like this:

The “Po Boy” was originally invented by two brothers, Clovis and Benjamin “Bennie” Martin. In 1922, the former streetcar driver duo opened up a coffee stand/restaurant together in the French Quarter. Then, in 1929, when the streetcar drivers went on strike, the Martin brothers took it upon themselves to create an inexpensive sandwich made from spare bits of roast beef on French bread topped with gravy. They would serve the unemployed streetcar drivers out of the back of their restaurant for free.

A quote from ‘Bennie’ Martin about it: “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.'” Eventually the name po boy was given to the sandwich!

Interesting right?!

So although, what is commonly thought to be a “Po Boy” is a sandwich topped with fried shrimp, oysters, or fish; it actually stems from a beef and gravy sandwich on french bread! hah Anyhow, I decided to make myself a fried tilapia po boy (because tilapia is cheap – and so am I). Ironically that’s exactly what this sandwich was meant to be – inexpensive and DELICIOUS!

Mission accomplished!

Story Source: PoBoyFest.com & FrenchQuarter.com

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Tilapia Po Boy

Yield: 4 Po Boys

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Remoulade:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dill relish
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cajun seasoning

For the Fish:
1 pound tilapia filets, halved (may substitute any inexpensive mild fish)
Canola oil, enough for 1/4" in your skillet
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the Sandwiches:
1-2 loaves of French bread
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
hot sauce

Directions:

For the Remoulade:
Mix together ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

For the Fish:
Preheat 1/4 inch of canola oil in a skillet to 350° (medium high heat). In one dish, scramble 2 eggs. In a second dish mix together flour, corn meal and seasonings. Dredge fish into the flour mixture, then the egg, then back into the flour mixture. Repeat with remaining pieces of fish (set aside on a platter or baking dish, making sure they do not overlap).

Add a few pieces (i fit about 5-6 in my large cast iron skillet) of fish to the oil at a time; do not over-crowd. Cook for 2-3 minutes (should be slightly golden in color), flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove and allow to drain on a papertowel lined platter. Season with a sprinkle of salt. Repeat until all fish is cooked.

For the Sandwiches:
Cut the french bread into desired size for sandwiches (I got about 3 out of one large loaf). Slice open and spread a tablespoon or 2 of the remoulade on the bread. Add a few slices of the fried tilapia, a handful of shredded lettuce, and a few tomato slices. If desired, add a little hot sauce for that extra "kick". Enjoy!

Source: My Life as a Mrs Original