They’re known as subway sandwiches, or simply “subs” throughout most of the United States. But Philadelphians call them hoagies. In fact hoagies were named the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia” in 1922. May 5th is National Hoagie Day. But National Jazz Day falls later in the month on the 24th. And the birthplace of Jazz is New Orleans.
Most people know that. Many don’t know that New Orleans is also the birthplace of the sub- and hoagie-type sandwich. Except this beast of bread-based meal is called a “po’ boy” there. Today you can buy Po’ Boys in the Crescent City with the same fillings found in subs and hoagies. But originally they were stuffed with fried oysters and known as po’ boy oyster loaves. And if you’ve ever had the original type you know it’s the best!
These Great Depression-era delights are also known as “Peacemakers,” dubbed for their calming effect on the many wives who waited until the early morning hours for their husbands to return from the Jazz clubs. Since a dozen oysters sold for about five cents in those days, the name po’ boy is the one that stuck.
I had my first genuine New Orleans po’ boy at a little restaurant on Magazine Street so many years ago that I can’t remember it’s name. But the wonderful flavor of this simple sandwich looms large in my memory bank.
Po’ boys are simple to make. Try my version and enjoy!
Oyster Po’ Boy Peacemaker
· 12” long Baguette
· 3 T Butter
· 2 T Mayonnaise
· 1/4 tsp Tabasco Sauce
· 12 Fresh Oysters, shucked
· Corn Meal or Panko
· Salt and Pepper to taste
· 1/2 C Lettuce, shredded
· Slice off the top third of the baguette horizontally.
· Scoop out bread from the remaining 2/3 half of the loaf, leaving about 1/2” of bread in the shell.
· Discard scooped bread.
· Spread 1 T of butter in a very thin layer onto the insides of bread halves and toast under broiler until just melted.
· Blend mayonnaise and Tabasco sauce together.
· Roll oysters in panko or corn meal.
· Heat sauté pan over medium high setting and melt remaining butter in pan.
· Quickly fry oysters in butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then drain on paper towel.
· Spread mayonnaise blend onto insides of each half of bread.
· Spread shredded lettuce into bread bottom.
· Set oysters on top of lettuce and place the baguette top onto the loaf.
· Serve hot.
Jazz up your month by celebrating National Hoagie Day with the real McCoy!
Image Courtesy of nuchylee / Free Digital Photos