I generally don’t like anything that hails from Canada. Poutine is one of my three exceptions.
1. Modify the recipe: the first time I had ever heard of poutine was on Chuck’s Day Off. (Chuck being the second of my three exceptions to my rule against Canadian things). Poutine is basically french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. I didn’t want to deep fry my fries. Instead, I wanted to oven roast them. But first, I boiled the wedges for 20 minutes. I learned this from watching In Search of Perfection.
2. Roast: each potato was sliced into four wedges and boiled for twenty minutes. Then, I roasted it in a 450 degree oven for thirty minutes. Before I put them in the oven, I brushed each one with olive oil. You can drizzle them with olive oil or try to toss them to get them coated. But this tends to break the potato wedges – they’re fragile after boiling. Also, it leads to inefficient and non-uniform oil coverage.
3. gravy: the original recipe calls for a veal stock based gravy. I don’t ever have veal stock. I used a puck of chicken stock I made and put in the freezer. Each of my pucks is 1C of chicken stock. Make a roux first. Add the puck. Add some seasonings: I think I put in pinches of garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and pepper.
4. cheese it: When the fries are done, cover with gravy, then sprinkle cheese curds on top. the more the merrier. I used about a half pound of curds for two servings.
We get this particular cheese in Stockton, Illinois. Stockton, Illinois does not seem to have anything except for a car dealership, a log home dealership, and two gas stations. In one of the two gas stations, they sell cheese curds. And it is located almost exactly half way between Chicago and the town where my in-laws live in Iowa.
5. Eat: When the curds melted, the cheese would drizzle into these little wisps of cheese, like egg in an egg drop soup.
The gravy was heavy but carried the cheese in a wonderful way. The curds kept their squeakiness but melted due to the heat of the potatoes. It became a messy, goopy glob of food, but it was oh so delicious. Probably one of the most delicious things I have eaten in a long time.