Grouper Pita Po’ Boys
I received free samples of Toufayan Pita mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
This past weekend Mr E and I went on a weekend getaway with some friends down to Clearwater, Florida to get some sun and watch Phillies spring training. A Phillies win is always an highlight, but the real star of the trip was grouper. Local Gulf grouper was part of the meal no matter where we went to eat. One of our favorite incarnations was Grouper Nuggets. When I was given an opportunity by The Recipe Redux and Toufayan Bakeries to make a pita creation, I knew grouper nuggets had to be involved.
Grouper is a fish similar in texture to flounder and tilapia. It provides a good source of vitamin D and iron in addition to protein. While group is not as high in omega-3s as some other fish, it still provides a source of healthy fats. Grouper is most commonly found in Florida, but fortunately my favorite local fish market, Kleins, frequently acquires fresh grouper so we can enjoy it here in NJ.
I returned home to a box of goodies from Toufayan Bakeries. In case you’re not familiar with Toufayan Bakeries, they are a family-owned bakery here in the U.S. They makes more than 100 delicious products available across the nation. It is the largest Pita company in the U.S. Now my challenge was to figure out how my grouper nuggets and pita would get married.
I found my pita-spiration thanks to a feature about Johnny’s Po-Boys in New Orleans. Mr E and I frequently watch travel food shows so we know where to check out while visiting other places. And the night we returned from Clearwater just happened find a show about the best food spots in our next destination, New Orleans. My pita creation is a bridge between last weekend’s trip to Clearwater, and an upcoming visit to New Orleans in May. And so the Pita Po’ Boy is born.
A Po’ Boy Purist will insist a po’ boy is nothing without the proper bread. Traditional po’ boys are served on a baguette that has a crispy crust and fluffy inside. Those baguettes are also extremely high in carbs, meaning you’re already consuming more than a meal’s worth of calories before putting anything on that bread. To cut down on calories and enjoy the delicious treats inside, I decided a pita would be perfect. Plus, I personally don’t care for overly messy sandwiches, so pita helps keep my hands and plate clean.
Toufayan Bakeries uses old-world recipes with only top quality, wholesome ingredients. Toufayan Pita is naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free. I opted to use their new Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat variety, which provides only 25g of carbs (less than 2 slices of bread!) and 3g of fiber for the entire pita.
I also broke po’ boy tradition by baking instead of frying the grouper nuggets. I’m a big believer in not wasting calories on little things, like fried food, when I can enjoy an entire meal. To give the grouper nuggets a crunch, I mixed traditional corn meal with panko and hemp seeds. The hemp seeds provide an added source of fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fats. Added bonus – these Grouper Nuggets make a great snack or appetizer to enjoy on their own!
Remoulade sauce tops traditional po’ boys, so to keep the integrity of the sandwich, I made a lightened up remoulade sauce. The base for traditional remoulade is mayo – and lots of it. I cut the mayo in half and used plain skyr yogurt instead to provide a creamy texture with less fat and more protein. Flavoring comes from herbs, seasonings, spices, and my beloved Mazi hot sauce (although traditional Louisiana hot sauce can be used too). This sauce does need at least an hour for all the flavors to get to know one another. If you can make it ahead of time, you can enjoy your sandwich faster.
Assembly time happens once all the ingredients are ready to go. Cut the pita in half and take a quick trip to the toaster on the lowest setting. This will heat the pita and give a crispy outside. Finish filling up that pita with chopped romaine, tomato, and a spread of remoulade.
Want to make your own Grouper Pita Po’ Boy? Check out my recipe below. Remember that Toufayan Bakeries products are available nationwide. Check availability locally.
Have you had a traditional po’ boy?
Ever tried Group Nuggets?
How do you enjoy pita?
Give this po’ boy recipe a shot and share what you think in the Comments!
- 1/4 C olive oil mayonnaise
- 1/4 C skyr-style yogurt
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- 1/2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 TB finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 TB hot sauce consider Louisiana-style or piri piri
- 1 tsp whole-grain mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp capers roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning or more, depending on spice level
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper may omit, depending on spice level
- 1 grouper fillet (approx 2/3lb)
- 1/4 C cornmeal
- 2 TB panko
- 2 TB hemp seeds
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp chopped scallion
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (may omit depending on spice level)
- 1 egg
- 1 TB kefir or buttermilk
For Po' Boys
- 2 Toufayan Organic & Sprouted Whole Wheat Pitas
- 1 C chopped romaine
- 1 medium tomato sliced
- In a small bowl, mix remoulade ingredients together and allow to chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF
- Mix cornmeal, panko, hemp seeds, parsley, scallion, and cayenne pepper together in a shallow bowl
- Whisk egg and kefir together in a separate shallow bowl
- Cut grouper into bite size pieces. Dip grouper pieces into egg wash, then into cornmeal mix and completely cover in breading. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 minutes on each side. Pieces should be lightly browned and crispy.
- While grouper is baking, cut pita in half and lightly toast to warm and crisp
- To assemble po' boy, lightly spread a thin layer of remoulade inside pita pocket. Layer grouper nuggets, tomato, and romaine inside pocket. Top with additional remoulade sauce
1/2 pita with filling and 1 TB remoulade sauce = 315 calories, 10g fat (2g sat fat), 32g carbs, 4g fiber, 23g protein, 357mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)
Remoulade sauce inspiration from Serious Eats.