It’s time for poutine! When my friend up north first told me about poutine, I thought, “Is that some sort of slang or cuss word I’ve never heard of before?” It turns out poutine is not some strange disease or dirty word, it’s a deliciously awesome dish. You just need to find cheese curds. I don’t know what it is about Southern California, but almost every non-foodie that I mention cheese curds to gives me a disgusted look. Then I explain cheese curds and tell them that if they like string cheese they will love cheese curds. I don’t tell them this but I’m sure they would even like goat cheese curds if you didn’t mention they were made from goat’s milk. Enough about that…. back to to Poutine! Essentially, poutine is fries, cheese curds, and gravy. I keep meaning to make variations of poutine and also add something like corned beef but it just hasn’t happened yet.
I start by cutting potatoes (usually big Russets) into fries. Sometimes I hand cut them into wedges, most times I bust out the mandolin for precise strips. Then I soak the potatoes in water for 1-2 hours before cooking to remove some of the starch and ultimately make a crispier fry. For a couple years, I used to bartend and serve. The cooks would soak the potato chips after slicing them in water for a couple hours. Then they would change the water and store the potatoes until they would be patted down and fried. I’ve read a number of things about roasting potatoes and I still stick with soaking them but there are many other preparation out there to try. Anyways, after the soaking I make sure to pat the fries dry really well with some paper towels. Then, I put them on a baking sheet lined with foil (I use foil for the lame reason of less clean up and really no other reason) and lightly toss them with oil and salt. Then it’s off to a 425 degree oven for 10-15 min. on either side. Make sure your fries are on the sheet in one layer. Good fries are claustrophobic and can’t be bothered by other fries all up in their shit. Also, don’t feel like you need to mess with them and flip them excessively like someone I know whose name starts with a G and rhymes with schmarrick. Just like with burgers, one flip is perfect in my opinion.
While my fries are cooking, I make a Simple Brown Gravy. Once the fries are done, I topped them with the cheese curds and the hot gravy. I finished the dish with the chive-like Green Garlic. It’s just so good. I figured that if I was going to indulge in cheesy gravy fries, I might as well drink an Irish Carbomb right before. It was a good night.