November 4, 2009

food of the Gods

One of the best things to come out of Quebec besides Guy LaFleur and the Montreal Canadiens, poutine is the food of Gods. This Québécois staple is a comfort food well received across the great white north and points south of the border, better known as french fries and gravy stateside.

Poutine is an easy DIY meal that can cure that case of cabin fever or that lingering cold. Perfect for making yourself a bowl and settling in to catch the evening's hockey match up. Start with 6-8 medium sized russets and scrub thoroughly. Slice into 1/4" to 3/8" strips depending on your preferred thickness. Immediately rinse and soak the cut fries in an ice bath, to prevent sugar conversion and darkening of the fries. Many of us up north are fortunate enough to be able to run our tap water on cold at around 39°F year round. Let the fries soak for at least an hour occasionally changing the water. This is a good time to heat the fryer to 325°F with any preferred oil. This is also a good time to get started on the gravy. Any type of gravy will do, that is the beauty of this dish there are so many possibilities. Many folks prefer chicken gravy but I prefer a darker gravy, a brown gravy often beef, veal preferred. I'm a gravy whore so I typically make about a quart and simmer it in on the stove while I'm cooking up the fries. Adding savory items like shallots to the gravy can help with the blossom of flavor.

potato crib
ready for the ice bath
brown gravy
The secret to crispy fries is double frying them. Fry the first round for 5-6 minutes and let dry on a cooling rack. Bump up the heat to 375°F and cook the second round another 5-6 minutes or until browned. Fries will float to the top of the oil when done. Drain fries and add to a bowl. Top with cheese curds and copious amounts of gravy. Cheddar curds are tasty, but hook yo'self up with some jalapeño or pepperjack cheese and you're tastebuds will thank you. Garnish with some fresh parsley, dry will work in a pinch. Bacon if you dare. Serves two.

Nom, nom!

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