Looking at Fine Cuisine

Sometimes you want something special. During this COVID-19 era, I’ve not had the luxury of eating out very often and usually it is carry-out. The current options are pretty slim. So when I wanted Cachapas, I had to make my own. When I wanted Pho, I made my own. When we wanted Fried Rice, we made our own – the same for sushi, chicken korma, butter chicken, and barbecue ribs. Usually we’d go to a restaurant but that’s not an option. So when my sister mentioned that she had made this dish, I started to drool. The more I thought about it, more I craved it. It is not haute cuisine like the French duck confit. It isn’t exotic like romazava or ugali. It is a very simple and delicious comfort food that hails from Canada. It is unique but its popularity has spread to the northern parts of the Midwest where dairy operations are plentiful. But what have dairies to do with this dish? And what dish am I even talking about?

The dairy operations in Wisconsin are key to my being able to make this dish. One of the major ingredients is cheese curds. To make this dish properly the curds must be fresh. A fresh cheese curd will squeak when you chew. I had been to Meijers and yes they had fresh curds!! They were a little expensive but I splurged and bought them anyway. I then put together one of the most perfect comfort foods ever dreamed up – Poutine.

Ingredients:
Steak fries

Cheese curds (white cheddar, yellow cheddar or a combination)
Brown gravy (I used the onion gravy but only because the shelf was bare and that was my only choice)

Bacon (cooked crispy – I cheated and got the pre-cooked stuff)

You can either bake or deep fry the steak fries. I baked mine in the oven which made them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I prefer to bake since it minimizes the grease. While the fries bake, I portion out the curds on the individual plates I’ll serve it on. I opted to use shallow bowls to make it more contained! Heat the gravy so that it is very hot but not boiling. At this point you can either fry the traditional bacon until crisp or microwave the cooked bacon until crispy. As soon as the bacon is done, cut or chop the slices into bite sized pieces. The tricky part is assembling the Poutine.
1. Place the hot fries into the bowl or onto the plate.
2. Add the cheese curds to the fries sprinkling them on top. If you want you can put a few on the bottom before adding the fries.

3. Pour the gravy over the fries. Use enough to create a small puddle.

4. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and serve immediately!

Last but not least, eat! The heat of the fries and the gravy will cause the curds to get all stretchy and gooey.

This is delicious! Granted this is a high calorie meal but I only make it once every 2 years. It is a real treat and so very tasty!! Thanks Canada!

46 thoughts on “Looking at Fine Cuisine

  1. Since I live in WI, I can vouch for the yumminess of fresh, slightly warm cheese curds. They were a favorite of mine before I had to stay away from dairy. As for the poutine, I’ll take your word for it that it’s good. Even though I love fries and bacon and gravy in their separate forms, I was never attracted to them, plus cheese curds, as a total dish. I suppose I’d need a taste to truly decide.

    I hope you are having a good start to the week!

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    1. Yes Mary, it does sound strange. The first time I had it I was skeptical but I was converted after one bite. Of course it is not a dish for the vegetarian or non-dairy crowd…. This week starts off with the mundane but will soon skew toward fun and games!

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    1. Really anyone would love it if they are at all inclined toward bacon and cheese and potatoes. The key is finding the cheese curd!! It would be an easy meal for on the road too!

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    1. Hehe! Michel you flatter me! I consider myself an adequate cook but I tend to make only the common dishes (and I take shortcuts!)… I’m tickled that this food post made you hungry!

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    1. Ha! It is so very tasty – all the Canadians say so and I concur. Vegemite has as much of a reputation as an acquired taste as marmite but I’d still give it a try even if it sounds all kinds of nasty!! I suppose I’m more gastronomically adventuresome than many…

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  2. You are the most adventuresome cook I have ever heard of! Sparky must be equally so for you to have such free rein in the kitchen. This recipe was more entertaining than tempting, I admit, but I won’t judge you…well maybe just a little bit. Seriously, canned gravy? What would your grandma think?!

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    1. If I’d had anything to make gravy from it would have been the real deal… but having cut way way back on red meat there was a dearth of roasting juices. My grandmother would have nodded and smiled while whispering “there are more fun things to do than slaving in the kitchen”. My parents were all about gastronomic variety. I was probably the only kid in my first grade class that had ever had shrimp, lobster, and crab. We ate liver, sweetbread (pancreas or thymus), lamb, goat, capon, horse… At my house we had cuisine from around the world at a time when most dinner tables had meat (pork, beef, poultry) and potatoes. The variety of vegetables alone boggled the minds of most of my friends. They had never had broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts or pea pods! I carried on the tradition with my children and they have thanked me many times. As for judging – go ahead I can handle it since it rolls off like water from a ducks back!

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