I’ve been thinking of doing a shrimp po boy for awhile. I love the idea of a super-charged flavourful shrimp in a baguette with an even more flavourful aioli dressing.
The past few days, I’ve been really cutesy/pretty with my sandwiches and wanted to take that sense of security and add a bit of pop! What my mum used to call “surprise bites.”
A surprise bite is giving you one appearance and having elements that make you jerk your head with flavour, or in the case of today’s sandwich, wild heat!!
Food is about being playful. And sometimes, you just gotta play along the lip of a volcano!! 😉
Sweet Temptation Shrimp Po Boy with Lovage Jalapeño Shrimp and Roasted Red Chilli Mint Aioli
For the Lovage Jalapeño Shrimp:
225g/8 oz medium sized shrimp (21-30 count), peeled and deveined (if it isn’t already done for you)
2 Tbsp fresh lovage leaves (or one stalk of celery), finely chopped
1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Place the lovage, jalapeño and yogurt in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Place the purée in a resealable zip bag along with the shrimp. Massage the marinade over the shrimp, squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for an hour.
While the shrimp is marinating, proceed to the rest of the recipe.
For the Roasted Red Chilli Mint Aioli:
2 or 3 fresh red finger chillis
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp prepared mustard (I used a homemade grainy mustard)
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp, packed, fresh mint, finely chopped
2 Tbsp cold pressed/extra virgin oil
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Place the chillis on a small baking sheet. Roast on the lower rack of the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is darkened and the loosened from the chillis. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Peel the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Roughly chop the roasted chilli flesh.
Place the roasted chillis, garlic, egg yolk, mustard, mint and vinegar in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Add the oil and purée again until smooth. You don’t have to do the “slow drizzle” thing. The emulsion holds just fine with the chilli purée and mustard. Set aside.
For the sandwich:
2 tsp oil + 2 tsp butter
Marinated Lovage Jalapeño Shrimp
Prepared Roasted Red Chilli Mint Aioli
1 cup, loosely packed, nasturtium leaves (or spinach)
6 nasturtium flowers
1/2 cup, loosely packed, broccoli rabe flowers (or arugula)
In a large pan over medium high heat, add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, take the shrimp out of the marinade and place in the pan. Don’t be too concerned about wiping away some of the excess marinade. Cook for about 30-45 seconds per side. Take out of the pan and set aside.
On each split demi-baguette, spread a good dollop of Roasted Red Chilli Mint Aioli on each cut side. Divide the nasturtium leaves over both baguettes. Accent the leaves with nasturtium flowers and a scattering of broccoli rabe flowers. Top with Lovage Jalapeño Shrimp. Serves 2. (with a bit of aioli leftover. Put it on a grilled cheese sandwich or your eggs the next morning. That’s what I’m planning 😉 ).