There's nothing like a Facebook post gone awry to bring out the creativity in the real foodie. A discussion about my business partner's proclivity for Diet Pepsi somehow spawned into a discussion about poutine, and it set me a cravin'. I don't know about you, but this delicacy that is signature to Quebec is not one that usually gets my tastebuds doing the happy dance, mainly because the fries will have been cooked in very rancid, industrial oil and who knows that the "gravy" is made from. So I am on a quest to make a real food poutine and tell you all about it!
Here's my plan:
1. Get my hands on some organic duck fat. If I had jumped on that enormous brick of the stuff back early this fall when we visit Morgan Farms, well, I'd still be swimming in the stuff, but I'd have some at my disposal for Operation Poutine. When I emailed them the other day they advised me that they took all their duck fat off the shelf as they need it to make confit. Drooooooool. So now I'm trying to track down another source. Ferme Stairsholme (which doesn't seem to have a website so you can google them if you're interested or email me and I'll send you the contact info) sells duck and duck eggs, so I've put out feelers to see if they can get me some FAT. I'll keep you posted.
By the way, the purpose of the fat is for oven "frying" the fries, which I will make from real, whole, fresh potatoes. Mmmmm...
2. Yesterday, when I roasted our weekly chicken (really, WHY would you cook a chicken any other way? It can't possibly taste as good as it does roasted), I removed the cooked sweet potatoes and carrots from the bottom of the roasting pan and poured the drippings into the jar, to save for my gravy. I've never made gravy that hard, but a quick search on Google proved that it's not that difficult. And last week I bought some brown rice flour to use for the roux as Fred is gluten-free. So now it's really just a question of enough wholesome sea salt to bring out the depth of the drippings.
3. The cheese will be tricky, only because I have never in my life heard of organic cheese curds. For those of you who aren't familiar with this delicacy, they're little, well, curds of cheese that are left out for the first 24 hours at the grocery store. During this time, when you bite into them, they squeak between your teeth, and you're rewarded by salty, tender yet slightly resistent cheesy goodness. And then you get really, really thirsty.
And as far as I'm aware, that's pretty much all their is to poutine! And this version I'll a) be able to eat without feeling like I'm setting myself up for trouble, and 2) be able to feed the kids and feel like they're getting some get nourishing!