The great-grandson of a fishing boat captain off the coast in Alabama, William Yon grew up around Southern cooking. Shrimp “po’boy” sandwiches, in particular, were a big part of his palate.
But since moving to Kansas City several years ago, he has not been able to find a place that provides those sensational Southern tastes so familiar to him.
So Yon chose to make a deconstructed version of a Southern classic, complete with a spicy remoulade sauce.
“I took all the big areas of Southern cooking and combined them into one dish,” Yon says. “I took the Carolinas mustard-style vinegars, the remoulade of Louisiana, and the Gulf fry-batter to accompany each other to show what the South has to offer, and as a salad it is a better way to indulge yourself without feeling terrible about what you’re enjoying.”
There are several keys to making this dish stand out, he says, but none more important than using fresh shrimp. He also recommends resisting the urge to move the tomatoes while blackening because they could lose their charred edge.
William Yon is a fourth semester student in the Johnson Community College Chef Apprentice and Hospitality Management Program. He works as a garde manger at Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills.
The food stylist
Jen Albracht is a Johnson County Community College interior design student. She works with the chef and photographer to find props and arrange the best shot.
About the column
Cooking 101 is a column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques and allow the student chefs to showcase their knowledge. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.
Shrimp Po’boy Crostini With Blackened Tomatoes and Spicy Remoulade
Makes 4 servings
For the remoulade:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 medium shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad dressing:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the pickled red onion:
2 red onions, sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
For the blackened grape tomatoes:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons Cajun-style blackened seasoning
For the French bread crostinis:
1 small French baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the shrimp:
Oil for frying
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
12 jumbo shrimp (16/20 count), cleaned and deveined
For the salad:
1 bunch curly endive or chopped green leaf lettuce
1 cup chopped white cabbage
1 cup chopped red Napa cabbage
1/4 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup green onions, cut on bias at 45-degree angle and 1/2-inch in length
To make the remoulade: In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, capers, hot sauce, lemon juice, sweet relish, apple cider vinegar, whole-grain mustard and shallot. Season with salt and pepper to taste; refrigerate until needed.
To make the salad dressing: In a blender, mix sugar, Dijon and dry mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil while mixing/blending until emulsified.
To make the pickled onions: Blanch red onions in boiling water for 1 minute, drain. Return onions to pan and add vinegar and salt. Fill with cold water to just cover onions. Bring to hard boil and simmer for 1 minute. Place onions and brine in Mason jar or tight-lidded glass container and chill. Serve cold.
To blacken the tomatoes: Heat skillet/sauté pan to medium heat, add olive oil. Cut grape tomatoes in half. On a small plate evenly spread out blackening seasoning. Dab tomatoes, cut side, in spice. Place tomatoes into skillet cut side down and cook until bottoms are crisp. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the crostini: Using a bread knife, slice 1/4 to 1/2 -inch slices of bread, width-wise, until you have 12 slices. Place slices on sheet tray and using a brush or spoon, lightly coat one side of bread with olive oil and lightly dust with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
To make the fried shrimp: Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg and milk together. Add cornmeal, flour and melted butter; stir well. Mix in Old Bay and Cajun seasonings. Dip shrimp in batter, hold shrimp over bowl, letting excess drip. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To serve: In a salad bowl, toss endive or lettuce, cabbage, carrots, green onions and blackened tomatoes and toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing, until leaves are well-coated. Place about 1 1/2 cups of greens in middle of each plate.
In separate bowl, toss together fried shrimp and 2 to 6 tablespoons of remoulade sauce, according to your taste.
Place 3 crostini along the base of the lettuce, making a triangle pattern. Place 1/2 tablespoon of the pickled onions on top of crostinis. Add shrimp and serve.
Per serving: 1,097 calories (43 percent from fat), 53 grams total fat (10 grams saturated), 204 milligrams cholesterol, 123 grams carbohydrates, 38 grams protein, 2,274 milligrams sodium, 14 grams dietary fiber.