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.
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!