Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Poutine







     Canadian Poutine!
     Poutine is legendary for providing plenty of warmth and comfort for those who brave the icy cold great white north!  Poutine is one of Canada's favorite snacks.  In fact, Poutine can also be a cheap hearty meal.  Many casual restaurants and fast food chains in Canada offer Poutine on the menu.  Many restaurants in American states that border Canada also offer this hearty concoction.  
     Poutine has its origins in Quebec.  Poutine is fresh potato french fries with brown gravy and fresh cheese curds.  Plain Fresh Cheese Curds are the most popular cheese curd for making Poutine.  Yellow Cheddar Curds are popular too.  French style gravies (Sauce Espagnole) are usually dark brown and Canadian gravies tend to be the same.  Brown Roux is the secret to making a gravy that is dark brown.

     Brown Gravy:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups.
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while constantly stirring.  (The roux should be shiny, not caky looking.)
     Constantly stir till the roux becomes a dark brown color.  
     Step 2:  Add 2 cups of beef broth.
     Whisk the gravy to combine the roux.
     Whisk occasionally till the gravy comes to a gentle boil and it thickens to a very thin sauce consistency.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Add 1 pinch of onion powder.
     Add 1 small pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
     Step 4:  Simmer and reduce the gravy till it is a medium thin consistency that easily coats a spoon.
     Keep the gravy warm over very low heat.  (Add beef stock if the gravy becomes too thick.)

     French Fries:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion.
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Cut a peeled 8 to 10 ounce russet potato lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices.
     Stack the potato slices and cut them into 1/4" thick potato sticks. 
     Step 2:  Place the potato sticks in the hot oil.
     Fry the potatoes for 1 minute, so they are barely blanched and still white in color.
     Use a fryer net to place the fries on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Let the french fries cool.
     Step 3:  Place the cooled blanched potato sticks in the hot oil a second time.
     Fry till they are crispy golden brown.
     Step 4:  Use a fryer net to place the fries on a wire screen roasting rack on a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Season the fries with sea salt.
     Keep the french fries warm on a stove top.

     Poutine:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     The fries and gravy must be piping hot to warm the cheddar cheese curds!  If they cool off, then place the plate in a 350ºF oven for 15 to 25 seconds, so the cheese curds warm up and melt.
     Mound the french fries on a plate.
     Pour a generous amount of the brown gravy over the fries.
     Sprinkle 2 to 3 ounces of cheddar cheese curds over the fries.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Warm, hearty, filling and delicious!  Canadian poutine is great cold weather food, but it can be served year round. 

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