New Orleans inspired Veggie Sandwich

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New Orleans has a great culinary tradition. It has been a traditional melting pot in the truest sense of the term and the cuisine reflects that. The few times I have been there I have enjoyed the food especially in places like Emeril Lagasse’s “NOLA”, which cater to vegetarians very well.

Anyway, one of the mainstays of Louisiana cuisine is a Po’Boy sandwich. There are many different theories as to how this name came about. The French word pourboire, referring to a tip given to a waiter could have something to do with it. A famous local story attributes it to the Martin Brothers, former streetcar workers, who had a restaurant in New Orleans in the 1920s. As the story goes, they served free sandwiches to striking streetcar workers who jokingly referred to themselves as “poor boys” since they were not getting paid. And so, the story continues, the name stuck.

Since most Po’ Boys are seafood or meat based, I decided to turn to my go-to versatile ingredient – Tofu. This magic protein, has worked well for me, apart from the usual Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese foods, in things like Indian food (see here) and Tacos (see here). So I cut up big chunks of Tofu and coated it with a equal mixture of cornmeal and white flour seasoned with Cajun seasoning (I used “Slap Ya Mama” since this seemed to be the only one I could find in the grocery store that didn’t have a long list of chemicals in the list of ingredients). I then pan fried it with a little bit of oil and then baked it in the oven for about 20 mins at 350F to get a nice crispy coat.

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I made the Remoulade spread loosely following the recipe here. I had no horseradish, so I skipped that. This spread was fantastic and one I would make again.

Then to assemble the sandwich, I took some leftover hot dog buns, opened them up and put the tofu on them. Covered them up with some cheese, I used Cheddar, and then broiled it so that the cheese melted.

Then the buns were taken, the Remoulade spread on them, and slices of tomato added along with some spinach leaves. And that was it. It definitely made for a pretty satisfying meal and my slow eating kid wolfed it down. Couldn’t have asked for a better complement.

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