With an upbringing that involved countless road trips and moving from coast to coast a total of 13 times, you can bet actress Jazz Smollet and her family have picked up quite the collection of regional recipes over the years. And they’re finally sharing it all in their new cookbook The Family Table: Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life, including this crispy oyster po’boy sandwich that’s become a family staple.
We know what you’re about to say—the most authentic po’boys are topped with shredded lettuce instead of coleslaw, but as Smollet notes, it just gives you an excuse to try the sandwich both ways.
From The Family Table by Jazz Smollett-Warwell, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jake Smollett, Jussie Smollett. Copyright © 2018 by Smollett Collective. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
For the Coleslaw:
⅓ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 cups bagged carrot and cabbage mixture
For the Oysters:
36 large oysters (about seven 6-ounce jars)
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon dried mustard
2 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 French bread or bolillo sandwich rolls
1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the carrot and cabbages law mix and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Line a plate with paper towels, rinse the oysters, and let them drain on the lined plate.
3. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, granulated garlic, oregano, basil, paprika, thyme, granulated onion, white pepper, and dried mustard in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Transfer the oysters to the egg mixture to coat, letting the excess drip off, then coat them one at a time in the dry mixture. Set aside.
4. Line another plate with paper towels and set aside. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat until very hot. (Sprinkle a little of the dry spice mix in the oil and if it sizzles, the oil is ready.) Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet, fry the oysters about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the oysters to the lined plate. While still hot, sprinkle them with salt.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
6. Slice open the rolls and warm them in the oven for 3 minutes. Spread both sides of the bread with mayonnaise and ketchup. Place 6 oysters on the bottom of each sandwich and top with coleslaw. Top the sandwiches and serve immediately!