Saturday, February 27, 2010

Emeril Lagasse's Poutine

Emeril Legasse's recipe for poutine from an episode of Emeril Live about French Canadian Cuisine.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds Idaho white potatoes, peeled and cut
1/2 pound fresh cheese curd

In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the butter and flour. Stir until incorporated. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes for a dark roux. Stir in the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Peel the potatoes and cut fries, 4 inches by 1/2-inch. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and blanch for 4 minutes. Remove, drain and cool completely. Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, mound the fries into the individual (16-ounce) disposable cups. Spoon the gravy over the fries and crumble the cheese. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Penance and Poutine at the Olympics

VANCOUVER - U.S. men's figure skater Johnny Weir thinks he should sit down over some poutine with two Quebec broadcasters who made a series of offensive on-air remarks about him. To read the entire article click here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Day of Poutine!

Chef Pierre Robillard, a native Montrealer who migrated to Toronto two years ago to open his popular Québecois restaurant, Café du Lac, specializes in a gourmet poutine made with Perron cheese curds, a foie gras and brie cream sauce which is sprinkled throughout with maple syrup drizzled pulled beef and topped with seared foie gras.

Pierre will be showcasing his specialty poutine at the Cheese Boutique in Toronto’s west end on Saturday, February 27th from noon to 4pm.

Too bad I live so far away. Can someone go and "cover" the event for Poutine Chronicles and report back to me? That'd be fantastic!
The Cheese Boutique is at 45 Ripley Avenue, Toronto. Phone: 416-762-6292. To read more about the cheese boutique, click here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seattle Times: Olympics & Poutine

Here's an article entitled, "Can fries, gravy and curds end a war over words at Olympics?" from the Seattle Times. Click here to read it. There's even an odd little video on the page. Check it out!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fifth Wheel Truck Stop

Richard and I hit the Fifth Wheel Restaurant in Cornwall, a chain of six truck stops in Ontario with locations as far away as Grimsby, Bowmanville and North Bay.

Big place and nice and clean.

Notice the priority seating for truckers.

Here's their menu...

...which even featured a poutine pizza. I'm going back for that!

Their poutine is so popular, it's advertised on little tent cards on the tables.

And ta-da! Here it is in all its poutine glory.

Really yummy. Nice, hot gravy. Hot fries. Only complaint? There could have been more curds.

A solid 4 out of a possible 5 rating.

Fifth Wheel Truck Stop, Highway 401, Exit 792, 1901 McConnell Avenue, Cornwall ON K6H 5R6
Phone: 613-933-8363
Open 24 hours
To see their menu, click here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poutine on Today Show Blog

Canada's profile is a little higher these days now that we're hosting the Winter Olympic games. Here's a story entitled "Canadians and Poutine: A Love Story" appearing on NBC's Today Show's blog called "allDay." To read it, click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Poutine

My oldest and dearest friend from our days growing up in Montreal, Roberta, now lives in Florida. Her eldest daughter Whitney wrote and asked for some advice on making poutine. Here are her results.
I did two batches of fries: one thick cut to make a more traditional looking poutine and then one waffle fry batch for fun.

The mozzarella worked out fine in the absence of cheese curds south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I took your advice to break it into chucks rather than grate it. Here's an action shot of Tim, my poutine partner-in-crime, curdifying the mozzarella.

And good news, the gravy was groovy. I made it from the drippings of the chicken I roasted earlier in the week. It was a little on the thin side, but very tasty with flavors from the veggies that roasted along with the chicken (carrots, onions, fennel, garlic).

Per your suggestion, I layered fries, cheese, gravy, fries, cheese, gravy to achieve the toasty, melty, but non-soupy dish of delish you described.

We cracked open a couple of Labatts, sat back to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, and dug into the poutine.

It doesn't get more Canadian than that in Tallahassee, Florida. Cheers, eh?

Thank you for your expert guidance through my first attempt at making poutine! That's some yummy stuff you guys cooked up over there.

Great job, Whitney. I think you deserve the gold medal in poutine making. Thanks for sharing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Poutine

I was on the Facebook fan page of TPoutine the other day and noticed their Valentine's Day poutine. I wrote them about it and got a nice note back saying, "'s unfortunately not something we can offer our diners though (it's too time consuming and messing with the curds in advance would ruin their freshness). I credit our chef, Kathleen Lucier, for her handy skills." I decided to take a page from T-Poutine and try it myself.

I started with a block of mild cheddar. I figured it'd be too hard to mess with trying to make curds into heart shapes.

Luckily I had a set of heart-shaped cookie cutters...

...which I used to cut the hearts.

I just kept going till I had about eight little cheesy hearts.

I used potato wedges instead of fries and poured chicken gravy on top of the lot.

It wasn't half bad. I missed the squeaky cheese curds but for a Valentine's Day treat, it was kinda fun.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Canned Poutine Sauce

I was at my local Your Independent grocery store and noticed that there's a choice of poutine sauces for the next time you make poutine at home.

I've tried the St. Hubert brand and it's pretty good. And this week it was on sale.

This one is by Cordon Bleu. Sound very high end and odd to me...Cordon Bleu poutine? Kind of an oxymoron.

I noticed there's a version of poutine sauce carried by the in-store brand's No Name label. Very cheaply priced too. Anyone out there tried any of these? If so, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Girl Can Dream

Menu posted in the window at Carol's Restaurant in Hawkesbury. Gotta get me some...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Bothy Brew

A bunch of us decided to head over to Maxville, Ontario to have some pub grub at The Bothy Brew.

The interior is fun with lots of Montréal Canadiens' memorabilia on the walls, along with other hockey teams. (Are there really any other hockey teams? Okay, so I digress...)

The menu was typical fare and offered poutine, so I ordered one.

Big mistake. First off, no curds but grated mozzarella instead. Bad sign. And there was way too much gravy making it into a big, soupy mess. The melted cheese had the effect of looking like Lake Erie (before it was cleaned up). And the poor fries seemed to be clinging to the edge of the waxed paper for safety. Yuck.

I could barely eat it. This is as far as I got. The fries above the gravy line were edible, the soggy ones below were hopelessly lost forever.
My opinion of The Bothy Brew? As my late mother would have said, "I have been there twice. The first and last time."
The poutine gets a half curd out of a possible five. The half curd is because they didn't use styrofoam and at the very least, the waxed paper that the sad poutine was served in will not be clogging up a landfill site. I can't say the same for the poutine.

The Bothy Brew, 1 Mechanic St. W., Maxville, ON K0C 1T0
Phone: 613-527-9900

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Max Diner

My friend Susan and I met for lunch the other day at the Max Diner, a truck stop off Highway 417, beside the Petro-Canada gas station in St. Isidore, Ontario.

It's kind of funky with a few neon signs around the counter...

...and check out the framed posters of trucks that have headlights that actually light up.

Their poutine was pretty darn good. Good curd coverage, gravy was pretty tasty and not too salty. My only criticism was that it could have been hotter.

It got a solid 4 out of 5 curd rating. Above average but not mind-blowing. I'd likely go back and have it again.

Max Diner at Petro-Canada, off Hwy 417 at St Isidore, ON K0C 2B0
Phone: 613-524-3151

Monday, February 1, 2010

McDonald's, Newfoundland & Labrador

Julia O from Labrador City in Newfoundland and Labrador is a big fan of poutine and discovered a favourite. Read on...
Generally, when a true poutine connoisseur hears about a chain restaurant offering the delectable fry-cheese-gravy combination that soothes the taste buds, the initial reaction would be one of skepticism. This skepticism, however, is generally not unwarranted due to the fact that most of the fast food giants' interpretation of a real poutine is lack lustre at best. McDonald’s restaurant however (yes, THAT McDonald’s) is the exception to this rule.

If you’re fortunate enough to live on the distribution line of the Québec portion of the McDonald’s delivery scheme you are in for a treat. Served in the proper Québec style poutine dish (a Styrofoam interpretation, of course) a bed of the ever-loved McDonald’s shoe strings are blanketed with a thick layer of genuine cheese curds. Over top of this is a coating of McDonald’s own brand of poutine sauce. This is where you really feel the parallelism and very little differentiation from one poutine to the next from this particular restaurant. A detail I feel is valuable to a perfect poutine, being slightly different from each to the next. With this minor detail being overlooked, McDonald’s definitely got their sauce recipe right and it is parallel to the sauce often used in an authentic Québec poutine.

This poutine is from the one and only McDonald’s location in all of Labrador, located in Labrador City, NL. On a rating scheme of a chain restaurant I would be inclined to give it 5 curds out of 5. Comparing it to any other poutine option I would give it 4 curds out of 5. It’s definitely worth a try if you are ever in the position to experience it, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks Julia. And I loved that you photographed the poutine on the Labrador flag!

McDonald's, 90 Avalon Drive, Labrador City, NL A2V 2Y2‎
Phone: 709-944-2901‎