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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Some finely chopped chives added to this would have gone well with the po’boys methinks.
- Makes about 250ml