I’m, dare I say it, soup and stewed out.
It’s not that it’s not freezing outside (it’s 11 degrees with windchill), it’s not that I don’t absolutely adore you soup, I do, I really, really do. You’re perfect and adaptable – you can be cold or hot, hearty or light, and can make the most mundane ingredients magical.
It’s not you, it’s me.
It’s cold and after endless bowls I’m craving something that’s, for lack of a better word, amazingly hearty and messy and almost makes me feel slightly guilty after eating it.
I want something that I feel like has a thousand calories and I know isn’t good for me, something double cheeseburger’esque. Much like how people in traditionally cold climates prized fat for its warming and high calories qualities, my body is urging me to get something equally fatty and delicious.
Enter this Po’Boy – definitely indulgent, definitely a meal that will fill you up but one that offers the comfort with the knowledge that it’s actually pretty darn healthy. It’s the quintessential bad boy turned good.
To say my husband was…slightly incredulous when I told him what I was making is an understatement. But one bite of this messy “fried” green tomato po’boy with spicy rémoulade, shiitake bacon and melty warm cheese had him changing his tune.
And when he suggested I open a food truck and start selling these sandwiches I knew they were good.
- This is not a quick throw it together sandwich. Between making the rémoulade, roasting the shiitakes, breading and baking the tomatoes you’re investing a good chunk of time. To speed it up on the night of, you could easily make the rémoulade, slice the cheese and even slice and bread the green tomatoes a day ahead.
- If you’re ok with the extra calories from real bacon, feel free to use it here. I will say that the shiitake bacon tastes pretty darn close, and had my husband repeatedly saying “Why does this taste so much like bacon?!” But making the shiitake bacon does take a good amount of time. We’re talking 40 mins for it alone. You could make it ahead and warm it up in a saucepan, skip it, or go hog-wild (bad joke) and throw on real bacon.
- A good quality bread is essential to any po’boy. I call for a multi-grain baguette, but whatever you choose make sure it’s something with a nice crust and crunch.
- The warm and slightly melty halloumi is a great counterpoint to the rest of the ingredients. If you’d prefer a different, non-grillable cheese, place the “fried” tomatoes on top of the bottom roll and whatever cheese you prefer. Throw it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt then top with the rest of the ingredients.
- 3 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp light mayo
- 2 Tbsp minced green onion
- 1 Tbsp Creole mustard
- ¾ Tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp hot sauce
- ¾ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper + ¼ tsp salt OR ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 8 oz sliced shiitakes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tsp Salt free Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash of sugar
- 2 medium very green tomatoes (6 - 8 oz in total) cut into four 1/3 - ½ inch thick slices, then each sliced cut in half width-wise into half-moons.
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp high heat oil (such as grapeseed or peanut)
- Cooking spray
- 14 oz whole grain or multigrain baguette
- 4 oz halloumi cheese
- Dill pickles
- Shredded lettuce
- To make the remoulade – combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use. This could be made a couple of days ahead with no problem.
- To make the shiitake bacon – Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss sliced shiitakes with olive oil, soy sauce and smoked paprika. Roast for 40 – 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Increase oven heat to 400° F.
- Cut the multigrain baguette into 4 portions. Hollow out the top and bottom of the bread. Throw the bread in the oven for 2 – 4 minutes until lightly toasted.
- To prepare the green tomatoes, combine flour through sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dip tomato slices in buttermilk; dredge in flour mixture. Lightly coat both sides of tomato slices with cooking spray and set aside on a rack.
- Pour 1 Tbsp oil onto baking sheet and place in oven; heat at 400° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; and spray with cooking spray. Spread oil evenly using a silicone brush. Place tomato slices on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
- Slice the halloumi cheese into 1 oz portions (if you have an 8 oz piece, slice into 4 long, thin pieces). Grill for a few minutes on each side in a grill pan until warmed through and slightly melty. Alternatively, you can use your favorite cheese. On the bottom bun, place the “fried” green tomatoes and top with cheese. Broil for a minute or two to melt and continue with recipe.
- Spread both sides of the bread with the spicy remoulade. Top with 4 “fried” green tomato halves. Top with cheese, shiitake bacon, pickles and lettuce.