I don’t think there’s any other dish that’s as quintessentially Canadian as poutine, a comfort food dish that takes hot fries and tops them with fresh squeaky cheese curds and gravy. So when I found out about the Mmm…Canada blogging event, it was the first dish that popped into my mind to make.
Now, I’ll be honest – I’ve always been curious about poutine. The combination just doesn’t sound very good. But let me tell you, folks – it works. So much so that I’ve had it 3 times this month, using the fresh cheese curds from Blue Jacket Creamery that I can get at the farmer’s market each weekend. It truly is addictive.
This first batch I’m blogging about was made from scratch, potatoes and all. On subsequent attempts, I took shortcuts (pre-prepared gravy, frozen fries in the deep fryer) and didn’t notice that much of a difference in the final result – the only thing that’s super important is that you use fresh curds so you get the “squeak”.
Poutine (Fries and Gravy)
recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 c. beef stock
fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs. Idaho white potatoes, peeled and cut
1/2 lb. fresh cheese curd
In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the butter and flour. Stir until incorporated. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes for a dark roux. Stir in the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Peel the potatoes and cut fries, 4 inches by 1/2 inch. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and blanch for 4 minutes. Remove, drain and cool completely. Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, mound the fries into the individual (16 oz) disposable cups. Spoon the gravy over the fries and crumble the cheese. Serve immediately.