About two years ago, I had an opportunity to visit Canada. I had a wonderful time, met some great people, had delicious food, and learned two things about Canadians.
One is that they are very nice people! Seriously, they were the biggest group of nice folks I had ever encountered outside of my own stomping grounds. I can’t imagine feeling as welcome anywhere else as I was in Canada (I really think they liked me better than my own family but that is a story for another day…)
Secondly was that Canadians have an almost inhuman ability to maintain body heat. With my Alabama blood in the Canadian climate (in January), “I THOUGHT I’Z GONNA FREEZE!” I have never, never, never, never, never, never, never experienced cold like that before in all of my born days.
I was told to bring my winter coat so I packed my wool pea coat. I love that coat but living in Alabama means only getting to wear it once or twice a winter if I’m lucky. You see, where I am, the winters are so mild that the grass doesn’t even die. We generally wear jackets if we go out but there have been occasions warm enough for shorts even in the middle of December. Needless to say, I was surprised when I got there and, upon looking at what I considered to be a winter coat, my friends asked me where my coat was.The photograph at the right shows me standing amidst more snow than I have ever seen in my entire life, wearing a coat – borrowed from a Canadian (I told you they were awful nice!).
I had a week filled with firsts. From stepping into snow and watching my shoe actually sink entirely down into it to visiting a grocery store and seeing things written entirely in French. Canada was a great experience and as I said before, the people were just wonderful. Another first from my trip was trying this dish – poutine (Pronounced pooh-teen).
From day one I was told, “Oh you HAVE to have Poutine!”. When it was described to me, hot fries topped with fresh cheese curd and a rich gravy, I was a bit put off. It just didn’t sound good to me. Still, they were persistent. Finally, three days before I left, I relented.
It was pure and true love at first bite. I had poutine at just about every meal until my flight back home. I ate so much poutine, I was being watched with concerned eyes as if hoping I would somehow get back on the wagon again. They had unleashed a poutine monster.
Once you taste this, you’ll see why. Now remember, I thought it sounded weird to begin with, too. In truth though, Poutine tastes about as southern as food can get and despite what you think, you really can’t imagine what it tastes like until you try it. Three simple ingredients meld to become something altogether more than what they seem.
This dish is so popular in Canada that McDonald’s and Burger King actually serve it, although I can’t imagine it is as good as it is at the little mom and pop diners. Canadians get creative with it, too. I’ve heard folks adding bacon, hamburger, and all sorts of other toppings into the mix. As for me, I like it just as I tried it that first time – and the second time, third, fourth, fifth, sixth…
You’ll need three simple ingredients. French Fries, Beef Gravy, and Mozzarella Cheese.
We’re making this a bit differently from how they do in Canada as we don’t have fresh cheese curds. I can’t really tell the difference but I’m sure fresh cheese curds just make it all the better!
Bake or fry your french fries. I love these Big Daddy steak fries. They are absolutely wonderful, and very difficult to find. Most people prefer to fry them in oil but I just bake mine. Surprisingly, I really don’t like to deep fry anything!
While those are cooking, slice your mozzarella cheese…You want a good handful, about a half cup for each serving.
Cut your slices into small cubes.
Heat your gravy until piping hot. You can use the stovetop for this or the microwave. I nuke mine.
Place hot fries on a plate and salt them.
Sprinkle liberally with cheese cubes.
Ladle hot gravy over hot fries.
Get a good bit on there! Make sure you cover up your cheese so it will get all ooey and gooey.
Give it a minute or two to melt and dig in.
Oh lord, I made this a few weeks ago and am just now putting the tutorial up.