Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Comfort Food at it's Best

Have you ever had french fries with gravy? If you're from DC, probably not. If you're from Canada, probably yes. I'm not from Canada, but Rochester, NY isn't that far away and I have certainly been there plenty of times. To be honest, I can't really remember where I ate this dish growing up, but I know that I have and when I read about it recently, I had a craving.

Have you ever had cheese curds? Again, probably not. I'm realizing that cheese curds are not well known and you sound kind of weird talking about them. Well, all you people who think I'm weird, you're missing out. They're just balls of cheese. I'm sure it's more complicated than that (something about pressing the whey leftover from making cheese), but all I know that they taste good. 

What do you get when you put those two together? Poutine.

It's French and you can find it in Canada. It's so delicious. French fries. Brown gravy. Cheese curds.

Potatoes and gravy are easy enough, but finding cheese curds in DC? Not so much. I randomly came across some at a farmer's market recently from some Amish goat farmers. So, they were goat cheese curds, which I'm pretty sure I'd never had before, but they worked! 


I made an easy vegetarian brown gravy because I didn't have any homemade beef stock and I didn't want to buy any. Veggie stock works just as well!


Serves 4 (side)/ 2 (main)

Brown Gravy Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch


  • Cook the onions in the butter in a saucepan over low heat for 10- 15 minutes until soft and caramelized
  • Add garlic and add another two minutes
  • Add 1 cup of vegetable broth to a food processor, then add onions and garlic and process until smooth
  • Return broth/ onion mixture to the saucepan and turn heat on low
  • Add another half cup of broth and the soy sauce
  • Cook the gravy over low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally 
  • In a small bowl, combine corn starch with the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and add to gravy
  • Cook gravy another five minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened
  • Remove from heat

French Fry Ingredients

  • 3 Russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Slice potatoes into thin fries (1/4" thick) then toss with olive oil
  3. Spread fries on a single layer on a greased baking sheet
  4. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes, checking in and stirring/flipping every 10 minutes or so
  5. Remove backing sheet from oven and allow to cool slightly 

Poutine Assembly

Pile fries onto a baking sheet and cover with gravy. Top with cheese curds and place under the broiler for about 2 minutes until cheese is softened.


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