Yesterday in Seattle something unearthly happened. The sun shone. The sun and it's strength was completely unexpected, so much so that I got a very attractive sunburn on my nose. This was extremely displeasing to me. My family lives in Canada, where it is super cold. I am always trying to convince them to move to the Pacific Northwest. I like to taunt them with days like this.
With all this sun, we (husband + me + dog) went to a picnic potluck party in the park. Try saying that fast 10 times. In preparation for this picnic, I tried to make macarons, which failed, followed by macaroons, which also failed. After spending a great deal of time in the kitchen, I got really mad and threw them both against the wall. I was annoyed, my husband was scared, my dog was excited. In the end, we all laughed. So instead of bringing French pastries, we brought veggie dogs. And, I also threw out that super horrible baking book which leads me to fail every time.
With all this nice weather around here and talk of my family, I decided to make a familiar snack - poutine. Poutine is a totally authentic Canadian dish. It originated in the French speaking province of Quebec. Poutine is made by taking french fries, sprinkling them with cheese curds, and drizzling gravy over the top. It is a magical combination. If you are looking for another authentic Canadian dish, go here.
Since becoming vegetarian, there are very few opportunities where I am able to order poutine at a restaurant, because most serve it with beef gravy. If you can get your hands on some delicious vegetable broth, that is the ticket. Homemade poutine is so easy to make. You should try it yourself!
makes 4 servings
4 Russet potatoes, Julienned
2 cups ice and 2 cups cold water for ice bath
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, salted
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1 - 2 cups cheese curds
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Wash and dry the potatoes. Julienne them (with the skins left on) using a mandoline on the 5/16 setting, or by hand. Place the julienned potatoes into a large bowl filled with ice water and let sit for 15 minutes. This will remove some of the starch, making the french fries more crispy.
Next, dry the potatoes and then spread them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and crispy, turning occasionally.
Heat the butter and flour in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Cook until it has turned light brown and started to foam. Slowly add one tablespoon at a time of the vegetable stock and continue to stir with a wire whisk until you have added enough broth to make a thin liquid. Then add the rest of the broth. Bring to a slow boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Cook until the gravy has thickened and then remove from the heat.
Once the french fries have cooked, remove them from the oven and place onto a serving plate. Top with cheese curds and then pour gravy over top. Serve warm.