Walleye Po’Boy Sandwich
The po’boy sandwich hails from New Orleans and, in Louisiana dialect, is short for “poor boy.” The history of the sandwich’s name remains speculation, but the sandwich itself serves as a culinary staple for both Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana. A quality French baguette plays a crucial part in the sandwich. So pull out those filets from the freezer and try this recipe by Jack Hennessy.
Photo by Jack Hennessey #BraisingTheWild
Makes two servings.
Two 8-ounce walleye fillets
French baguette, cut into 8-inch pieces and sliced
Sliced tomatoes and onions
Sweet Creole mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Fish flour mix
1 cup flour
1/3 cup Cajun seasoning or the following:
1/-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 Tablespoon of below:
White or black pepper
1 Tablespoon of either dried thyme, ancho chili powder or paprika
To marinate walleye: Whether walleye remains in full fillets or is cut in pieces, thaw fish thoroughly. In a large bowl, cover walleye fillets or nuggets with buttermilk and let sit for 2 to 6 hours.
To fry walleye: Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. In a large skillet, heat a half-inch of canola oil to 350 degrees. Toss walleye through flour, dust off excess, and place fish in skillet, no more than two large pieces at a time. Fry to a golden brown (takes one to three minutes), then flip and repeat on other side. Remove fish and set aside. For thicker fillets or nuggets, consider setting fish in a baking dish after frying and finishing for five minutes in hot oven.
To assemble sandwich: Toast bread, inside up, in oven with broiler on high for 5 minutes or until breading is light golden-brown. Lacquer inside of bread with Sweet Creole Mayonnaise. Add lettuce and tomatoes to bottom. Place fried walleye fillets (or nuggets) on top of tomatoes, followed by onions and bread top.
Marinating fish or chicken in buttermilk for a few hours is a good way to tenderize the meat and potentially counter any adverse freezer effects. Buttermilk also imparts a very subtle hint of buttery flavor.
Always try to thaw your fish completely. Partially frozen fish will gradually cool hot oil, especially in a skillet. Since hot oil is necessary to immediately sear and crisp fish breading, colder oil can lead to pale or soggy textures. Additionally, should you bake fish after frying initially, a frozen center will leak moisture, thus, again, leading to soggy breading.
About the Chef: Jack Hennessy is a passionate denizen of the outdoors and is the author of the food blog “Braising the Wild”.
Follow Jack on Twitter: @WildGameJack