...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Project Po’Boy

Much planning on the part of Sharon and Bill had gone into the idea of a party which would bring New Orleans po’boys to the northside of Dublin. I was excited to say the least – that they were sandwiches which would feature deep-fried oysters was, frankly, all I, or anybody, needed to know.

As time went on, and with several expat Americans involved, the plan expanded to include root beer floats, and there was even talk of homemade tater tots. Throw in both chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and it would be a feast to do Uncle Sam proud.

And then, as timing would have it, invited parties started dropping like flies, and I thought, for just a moment, that po’boys might be no’boys.

Oyster Po Boy

Oyster po'boy, Irish-style

There was no need to worry, however. Though our numbers were reduced, there was no shortage of enthusiasm for the po’boy project (though, sadly, the tater tot plan fell by the wayside – a separate project for another time, and with my name written all over it).

Po’boy day arrived and we came bearing fixin’s of lettuce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, garlicky mayonnaise, gherkins and jalapeños. We also came bearing vlaas – the soft, floury bread rolls made by Vlad of Arún Bakery, his version of the Waterford blaa. We drank hurricanes made by Sharon as we waited for the oysters, which were marinated in a creole-seasoned bath of eggs and milk, coated with a spicy cornmeal mix and deep-fried. When they were ready, we got stuck in, building our Louisiana/Irish po’boy mashups, and, believe me, those po’boys were go’boys. For when oysters weren’t enough, Bill had laid on roast beef for a take on another classic, even life-changing, po’boy.

Root beer floats

Root beer floats, as American as it gets

And when we had rested our tums just a little, Clare took charge of the root beer and vanilla ice cream, and I followed my first po’boy with my first root beer float, along with some of Kristin’s tremendously addictive chocolate chip cookies. I rolled home, sated, happy and, truth be told, about as stuffed as the po’boys I’d eaten. Even so, I couldn’t help thinking ahead to when there would be mo’boys of those po’boys.

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Garlic Lemon Po’Boy Mayonnaise

Deep-fried oysters were undoubtedly the centerpiece of the po’boy proceedings and you’ll find the recipe that Bill used for the oysters over here. To make the po’boys, we added salad fixin’s to the oysters and housed the lot in the epic Arún Bakery bread rolls that are vlaas. I would have added gherkins and/or jalapeños if I hadn’t been distracted by the overwhelming desire to get stuck into my first (and quickly followed by my second) oyster po’boy. There was no forgetting the mayonnaise, though, and this is the one that I made. Small though our po’boy eatin’, root beer drinkin’ crew was, once I’d made this, I got that distinct shoulda-made-a-bigger-batch feeling. It’s the kind of thing you want plenty of on your po’boy.

Po'boy construction

Fried oyster po'boy construction - note generous use of mayonnaise

I used peanut oil for the mayonnaise, partly as a nod to the deep South, but mostly because its lightly nutty flavour just works well here (though you can use sunflower oil instead). Of course, as with any homemade mayonnaise, you’re serving egg yolks in the raw, so be sure to use good quality eggs, free range and organic if you can.

You’ll need:

  • 2 egg yolks, preferably free range and organic
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tblsp white wine vinegar
  • 200ml peanut oil (or use sunflower oil)
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.25 tsp lemon zest
  • squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

You’ll also need:

  • You can use a hand whisk, an electric whisk or food processor for this.

The Steps:

  • Add your egg yolk, mustard, garlic, salt and vinegar to a large bowl or into the bowl of a food processor. Whisk or blend well.
  • Very slowly, stream the peanut oil and then the olive oil into the mixture. If you’re using a food processor, keep the motor running while you stream in the oil. By hand, you’ll just need to keep whisking all the time so that the oil and egg yolk becomes emulsified and thick. Stir in the lemon zest and add lemon juice to taste and/or additional salt and/or vinegar if needed.

The Variations:

  • Some finely chopped chives added to this would have gone well with the po’boys methinks.

The Results:

  • Makes about 250ml


  1. Clare

    Ah, what a day! Bill makes one perfect fried oyster all right, we’ll have to plan another one sooner than later. Everything was delicious and the rootbeer floats and massive chocolate chip cookies made me feel like a kid again. By the way, what do you think my chances are for a career as a hand model?

  2. Daily Spud

    What a day indeed Clare! I might have to get myself a deep-fryer just so I can try my hand at those oysters – what a brilliant thing to put in a sandwich. BTW you can be my hand model anytime, especially if you bring root beer and ice cream along :D

  3. Kristin

    A second po’boy party? Count me in for that! Hot damn, but those sandwiches (and the root beer floats, cookies, crisps, drinks) were good.

  4. Daily Spud

    They sure were Kristin!

  5. Parisbug (Laila)

    Oh. My. Gah. I am so jealous I think my blood turned green! The only twist I’d give you is my fav from North Carolina, where those oysters are tossed in Texas Pete hot sauce (step below Tabasco on the fire scale) before going onto the bread & slathered in blue cheese dressing instead of mayo. One year, when we lived in Paris, I was missing/craving them so much, picked up some enormous Korean oysters from little Japan & I made a batch–heaven. :)) Wish expats in France (outside Paris) were as fun as you guys!

  6. Daily Spud

    My gosh Laila – I’ve never had Texas Pete hot sauce but now I want some! Not to mention wanting to a) get my head around and b) try out the North Carolina version of po’boys with blue cheese dressing. Wow.

  7. Sharon

    I love the picture with Clare the hand model. What a great day. Thanks so much for adding your foodie goodness to the meal.

    The hot wing style oysters are very intriguing!

    The oysters turned out so great. Can’t wait to have them again. Hint: I have been served fried oysters for breakfast before. It made me very happy.

  8. Daily Spud

    Thanks so much for being such great hosts Sharon (and Bill!) and for the planning that went into it. It made me very happy to be there (and I think that fried oysters for breakfast would make me very happy too!)

  9. Biddy Burns

    Hello, I’m a New Media specialist working for an advertising agency based in London. We are working with a new start up business who send personalised cakes for any occasion through your letter box. I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a review of one of their cakes. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in and I can sort out getting the cake to you.

  10. Daily Spud

    Thanks for your enquiry Biddy, I’ll be in touch.

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