(Provided they are drunkard gods! Oh yeah.)
I gotta say, poutine has never been my favorite thing. But I do not live somewhere that poutine is an art form. Around here you’re lucky if the fries are done and the cheese is warm. Don’t even get me started on the horrors of gravy from a box. Thus, I had to try myself. Go rogue. Make it on my own. The results: very… very…. tasty.
My first introduction to poutine wasn’t even poutine. I was in New York with a friend and we basically bounced from restaurant to restaurant for about an hour to find one that would seat us even though we weren’t interested in having a full meal. Finally we landed at a French bistro where we were treated to some amazing pommes frites with gravy. Oh, they were good. The gravy was so amazing, I wanted to buy a bucket of it to baptize myself.
So fries and gravy; good. But fries, gravy and cheese curds? Well, everything is better with cheese. (And I was told repeatedly tonight – bacon.) According to wikipedia poutine is, “a Quebec dish in which cheese curds are served layered on top of french fries, and melting under piping hot gravy.” The rest, is mechanics.
Mechanics are important. So, I decided to start with the best recipe for french fries that I know of even though I’ve never made them. They’re Emeril Lagasse’s Perfect Fries or something like that. They’re simple. They’re good. No argument from me. (I have rewritten the recipe for myself here because a) it’s not much of a recipe and b) it’s more fun to make a photo recipe.) The second part isn’t really rocket science either – buy some cheese curds – preferably of the “squeeky” variety.* The gravy is the big unknown. I had read that poutine gravy was supposed to be chicken gravy and I’d been wanting to see if you could make a good chicken gravy from grocery store chicken broth. And guess what? You actually can. Top off your meal with a pint and….
I say, get your bacchanal on and have yourself some poutine.
These fries are a lengthy process – but most of it is waiting time not working time.
Cut 4 large russet potatoes cut into 1/4″ squared strips.
Submerge your potato strips into ice water and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Put enough oil into a large pot to have enough to cover the fries but leaving 2″ (or more) at the top of the pan. (You want to go wide and deep here.) Heat oil to 325°f. Take the future fries out of the ice water and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
Dunk batches into the hot oil until they are pliable and won’t snap when you try to bend them. (This takes exactly 10 minutes for me.) Let rest for 15 minutes or more (up to 2 hours.)
Heat fryer oil to 350°f. Dunk fries (in small batches) into the oil until crispy (1 – 3 minutes.) Transfer from oil to a paper towel lined cooling rack. Salt to taste.
If you’re not eating these in poutine, then I recommend tossing them in a bit of finely grated Parmesan and a tiny bit of garlic salt.
Hanne from Supper in Stereo has been conducting extensive poutine research and she advised me that the gravy must be piping hot. Looks piping hot to me!
1T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 T butter
2 T flour
4 c chicken broth
1/2 c white wine
1 t chicken bullion
1 t spike seasoning (or other pepper based dry seasoning)
1/2 cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add in onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook until translucent. Add in butter. When butter is melted sprinkle in flour. When mixture begins to brown; whisk in 1 c chicken stock and stir until thickened. Add in 1/2 c of broth and stir until thickened. Keep adding in liquids and reducing in this method until you’re out of liquids. Add in spices and serve over fries and cheese curds.
* Cheese Curds
“It’s not a real cheese curd if you don’t hear the squeek.”
“The cheese curd – has to make a sound like a wet finger on glass.”
“What in the hell is a cheese curd?”
Large eye roll, voice continuing with more irritation, “If you were from Wisconsin you would know these things. A cheese curd is a lump of cheese that comes fresh from cheese factories right after the cheese is made. If you don’t hear the squeak then it’s not a real cheese curd.”
Okie dokie then.
One more picture of what you could be having for dinner tonight: