The Sacrilegious Po’Boy
A po’boy is usually a po’boy because of its very specific, Louisiana French bread and it’s crispy fried innards of some kind of meat or seafood. This is a Sacrilegious Po’Boy because it has neither.
I was talking to my boyfriend, David, about this dish I concocted from two different vegan po’boy recipes. He was very quick to tell me that what I was making definitely is not a po’boy, and I must say, he should know- he’s from Louisiana. But the thing is, it still has all these delicious cajun flavors, some yummy slaw, garlic aioli, and chile-cornmeal crusted tofu. Against all odds, this is a non-po’boy po’boy, a blasphemous po’boy…a runcible po’boy! Dave is currently in Louisiana visiting his family, so perhaps missing him drew me to these flavors, but I’ll have to make it for him when he returns to see if I can get him on-board with this, dare I say, “yankee” version.
I started inspired this recipe by Vegan blogger, Joni Marie Newman at Just The Food. However, instead of making my Sacrilege Po’Boys sandwich-style, I left it open-faced and fancy by starting with a layer of the sweet potatoes at the bottom of the plate. I put a smattering of her garlic aoli on each one, and topped it with the sweet peppercorn slaw (I halved the dressing on the slaw, and left out some of the peppercorns) and her absolutely amazing fennel marmalade. Thank you so much, Joni, for this amazing recipe!
I must also say that this Old Bay Seasoning, used on the sweet potatoes, is one of my new faves.
Because I needed a little more protein in my meal, I gently laid some Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu against my beautiful Sacrilegious Po’Boy stack. This is a recipe from one of my all-time favorite vegan cookbooks, Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. You can check out more of Isa’s books and recipes at www.theppk.com, but I’ll put down her recipe here for ya:
1 pound of extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup soy or rice milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I left this out, for my mother’s sake)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
To make yours look as mine does, slice your tofu in thin strips.
Combine the soy milk and cornstarch. Whisk it together.
Mix up your dry ingredients (cornmeal, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, lime zest, salt), and follow the standard dip in soymilk, coat in crumbs procedure. Isa gives both frying and baking instructions, but since I did a bit of frying on the sweet potatoes and knew there would be a good amount of moisture from the aoli and slaw dressing, I opted for the baking option. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray each side of the tofu with oil, and bake for 12 minutes on each side.
The recipe is a decent amount of work and does involve an ingredient or two not in many non-vegan shelfs (like the Vegeneise), but it’s really great for a somewhat fancy night in, or can be simplified with a couple modifications as an everyday meal…not to mention the fact that it’s 100% plant-based and 100% delicious!