From catering head Carmen Calabrese
Named after the sandwich that was invented in New Orleans in the 1920s to feed those who couldn't afford a large meal, Po' Boys Creole Café has made a name for itself in Florida. They're known for their inexpensive traditional Creole and Cajun fare as well as a distinctly New Orleans atmosphere. They have photographs of Big Easy landmarks and Mardi Gras memorabilia everywhere. It's a great place to relax and support the Florida State University teams. We've "stolen" a pizza recipe with shrimp and a spinach and cream cheese mixture, which is generously topped with provolone cheese, from Carmen Calabrese, Po' Boys Creole Café's catering head. For something a bit less filling, try serving it as an appetizer or with less cream cheese and provolone.
About the chef: Carmen Calabrese and a high school buddy, Jon Sweede, had made a pact as teenagers to open a restaurant together. Their goal was to make it happen before they turned 30. At their 10-year high school reunion, Sweede presented Calabrese with the business plan he and Charlie Youngs had put together. Calabrese immediately resigned his position at Chili's as a general manager and joined the business venture. They opened their first 24-seat restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida in 1992, only blocks away from Florida State University. Since then, Po' Boys Creole Café has grown into a chain.
Calabrese currently oversees the catering side and although 70 percent of catering orders stick to Po' Boys standard menu – which includes traditional Creole fare like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice and po' boy sandwiches – Calabrese has catered elaborate Italian dinners, cocktail parties and holiday dinners.
Chef's note: this recipe uses two 8 inch pizza crusts - store bought is just fine.
Po' Boys Creole Café
224 E. College Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
850 224 5400
Awesome Al's Shrimp Pie is served at Po' Boys Creole Café for $10.95 with a side salad.
This recipe makes two restaurant servings.
1/4 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp olive oil
12 ounces medium Gulf shrimp, peeled
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp honey
12 ounces chopped, thawed, well-drained spinach
2 8-inch pizza pie crusts
20 ounces shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese
Cocktail sauce (optional)
Steal This Recipe® Step-by-Step Instructions:
Sauté yellow and green onions, oregano, salt, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil and white wine until soft.
Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns a pinkish color.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled, pour into a mixing bowl and add cream cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, honey and spinach.
Mix until there are no lumps of cream cheese or butter remaining.
Spread 1 cup of the mixture on each pie crust.
Sprinkle each pie with 10 ounces of shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees until each pie is lightly brown on top (check periodically).
Optional: serve with a side of cocktail sauce.