I know some of you’ve heard me mention poutine before so if this sounds like it’s a bit redundant, glance at the pictures and move on. For those who have Deep South roots but have been uprooted, and talk of Southern Soul Food is a painful topic, I apologize in advance for the emotional pain this part of the post may bring on.

“Quebecian” comfort food is poutine. Here in the south we know a lot about comfort food. We have fried chicken, rice with okra and ‘maters, many different kinds of peas and beans including but not limited to: black-eyed peas, field peas with snap beans, lima beans, and they are all cooked to oblivion and served over rice, we have biscuits, and macaroni pie, which is not quite the same as mac and cheese. Macaroni pie has eggs, milk and sharp cheddar cheese. And everything is cooked in butter, if you believe Paula Deen. Oh, and we have sweet tea. How could I have forgotten sweet tea? Or peach cobbler? Or key lime pie?

So, anyway, this is supposed to be about Canadian comfort food, not southern. Just wanted to whet your appetite a little. Poutine (pronounced pooh-teen or pooh-tin) comes from Quebec, according to wikipedia. And the version I’m familiar with is fries, topped with cheddar cheese curds and gravy. To me, the gravy is what made the difference. When I was in Alberta with Christy in November, I got some at Swiss Chalet and then later at A&W. Gotta say A&W’s just hit the spot. Of course, it may have been because we had just finished a long day of wedding photography and were hungry.

I’ve attempted to make it before but this past winter I tried it again and it was as close to A&W’s as I could imagine. We had just been to Holmes County so I bought some cheese curds. I LOVE cheese curds and it’s good that I don’t live close to where they live. You could make poutine with a mild flavored white cheese, such as farmers or Monterey jack, but for me it’s best to assume curds are the ONLY option, so as to not get tempted to make it often.

poutine 4

I don’t have an exact recipe to share with you, but here’s kinda how it’s made, give or take a few cups, teaspoons or pinches.

I found some frozen fries that were in dire need of being eaten, and stuck them in the oven to bake them. If you enjoy making homemade french fries, by all means, fry ‘em up.

poutine 3

Make a roux by throwing some flour and oil (veggie, canola, olive or other) in a frying pan.

poutine 1

Over medium heat, keep it stirred until it turns a golden brown.

poutine 2

Slowly pour in beef broth, stirring as you go. Let it simmer until it thickens into a nice gravy. I think the ratio I used was 1 cup of broth to 1 T. each of oil and flour. Salt to taste.

poutine 3b

Place your fries in your serving bowl, place the curds over top of the fries and pour on the hot gravy. You want the cheese to get melted enough to be stringy.

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Goodness that’s alot of cheese! You really don’t have to use that much. Let’s just say I was trying to o.d. on calcium.

poutine 6

Sprinkle some black pepper over top and dig in. These pictures are about 4 months old and I’ll just have to look at them for a while. There are no curds in my near future. Sad. My cousin Twila who lives in Wisconsin dairy country told me that the A&Ws there sell fried cheese curds. Oh my!

What comfort foods do you like?

8 thoughts on “Poutine

  1. That looks good enough to eat! I didn’t know Twila was your cousin. So neat how we can touch bases with people near and far away. It seems to me like I’ve seen a sign around here for cheese curds at a fast food place. Was it DQ? Anyways, your food looks yummy for a hungry tummy.

  2. Definitely fried chicken. And macaroni and cheese. And I am just bellyaching for tomato gravy over rice and cornbread to go with more fried chicken. And then I want that gumbo stuff my mom used to make when we lived in SC that included tomatoes and okra and I’m not sure what else. Oh, why does know one cook Southern food for me??????????????????? Cuz I’m just going to tell you one thing. Most of it includes WAY too much time in the kitchen. Just saying.

  3. When I’m needing some comfort I turn to mac and cheese. It just makes me feel good to my toes :)But mac and cheese from a box is just unforgivable!

    Hey, we have cheese curds in the deli. You want we should send some home with grandpas?? And your header…… I LOVE spanish moss on oak trees. Why can’t northern Ga have that?

  4. You already know that my dear husband loves poutine. But I don’t…that’s just messin’ too much with cheese curds, if you ask me…and I do live where they live, and you know that too! But that’s okay. I like too many kinds of food to even think right now what is a comfort food to me. Well, maybe it would be fried mush, whole wheat Belgian waffles, buttermilk pancakes, WW (meaning Weight Watchers but it could also mean whole wheat, since I make it with my whole wheat bread) Blueberry Peach French Toast…anything with our own REAL maple syrup on it, yumMEE! And just another opinion in closing…cheese curds are not much worth having if they are not fresh, meaning never having been refrigerated. Just saying. And I’m from cheese country, if that counts.

    Enjoy your poutine…I’ll have my FRESH and SQUEAKY cheese curds separate, my fries with ketchup, and my gravy with potatoes!

    And nobody makes sweet tea like the Southerners, it’s true! Must be the atmosphere, is all I can figure. Now it’s time to sign off and go till the garden…

  5. Oh man, we just had poutine a few nights ago with a poutine mix that my MIL sent us. I think I used Gouda cheese bc that’s what I had on hand, but cheese curds would have been better! You’re making me hungry!

  6. Yum, that looks so good.  We used to eat fries & gravy in PA.  Down here everyone luvs!! banana pudding and  poundcake – i’ll stick w/shoefly pie. now all those peas are all right, but i’d prefer butter to back fat.

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