16 May 2010

Food to mend a bruised heart: Part One: Poutine

It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 36 or 56 a bruised heart is still a bruised heart. Those of you who know the story, know the story. For those of you who don't, all I'll say is that a cycle is complete, probably not to replay with the same cast. The full story is not yet known...and I suspect I'll never truly know...but hindsight offers interesting glimpses.

Like many, I choose to take my solace in food. Broken down into copious amounts of sugar, salt and fat (which some misguided souls believe to be unhealthy and even self-destructive), these three flavours bring comfort and relief.

The salty-strong craving was matched with hot and cheesey as well as beefy and mindless. Poutine satisfies.

For those of you in the dark, poutine is quite frankly one of the greatest foods on this planet.

French-Canadian in origin, it is at it's simplest a combination of french fries, and cheese curds made melty by bubbling hot gravy. While not quite ubiquitous, it's not that difficult to find as diners, chipwagons, roadhouses and well-known national fast food chains usually have their versions on offer. Even swanky restaurants gussy it up a bit with special cheeses, dusting their fries with spice mixes and slathering everything in unctious sauces.

My preference is to have medium to chunky chip-like fries, made with unpeeled potatoes and deep-fat fried until golden. Baked fries just don't have the same mouthfeel as proper chips, but will do in a pinch. Red wine-mushroom sauce (like the one I used for Julia Child's Oeufs à la Bourguignonne, and what I photographed) is gorgeous on hot fries and mild curds.

Variations could include spaghetti sauce and mozzerella, chili and cheddar, or adding bits of meat like roast chicken, bacon, sausage or ground beef. There are no real rules ... just as there are no real measurments (well, not according to me)...which makes it a non-recipe recipe.

French fries
Cheese curds
Gravy (beef, chicken, whatever)
Heat the gravy as the fries are cooking until wisps of steam rise from the pot.
When the fries are done, spoon some gravy onto the plate. Pile the fries on top. Sprinkle with cheese curd and top with more hot gravy.

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glamah16 said...

I have never had Poutine and need to remedy that/ Love this version with the mushrooms. It that doesn't wash that man out of your hair, I don't know what will. Yes, sugar, salt, and some fat beat any sort of artificial fix to cure a little depression any day. They too can be healthy when called for.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Some of the very best recipes are simply a list of ingredients waiting for wisdom to taste ;0)
Love the sound and look of that mushroom gravy!

Joanne said...

I'm sorry to hear about this sweetie, but whatever the ailment, food is always the cure! The poutine sounds like severe comfort food...definitely what is needed right now.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

God, I wish I could find cheese curds here! I'll have to get my yearly poutine fix when I'm in Montreal soon :)

Hope the poutine did the trick..

Jerry (CbsoP) said...

My wife absolutely loves Poutine. I personally can't develop a taste for it, but then I'm not a huge fan of chips, fries or anything other than southern-style fried potatoes. (It's a me thing)

If it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, indulge!

Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear said...

Food will never let you down (though occasionally my pastry does) ... I hope your poutine makes you feel better. Potato is the world's comfort food and I usually go for mash... but I'm going to give this a go! Chin up, as we Brits say! (and eat up!)

foodhogger said...

Oh wowowowow!
I'm lactose intolerant but love poutine heehe.
If you have time, check out my posts on poutine: