Saturday, May 1, 2010
Oooooh You Dirty Dirty Poutine!
Since watching my food idol Anthony Bourdain take down some Poutine in Quebec, I have longed for this stuff. My longing was placed on the back burner and fired back up when I watched Al Roker and his cronies chowing down on some Poutine over in Vancouver, B.C. (During the Winter Olympics). And at last, after a long ass night at work, little sleep, and a big hike, I finally got my wish.
You're reading and saying, what the hell is this Poutine? Well, apparently the stuff originated in Quebec..just outside of Montreal. And in "American", I can say, basically it's like cheese fries...but with a few subtle differences.
Poutine = Fries, Cheese Curds, and a Sauce (generally a veloute...Chicken or Veal stock based sauce). There are many derivations on this theme and of course there are the Poutine traditionalists insisting only "Real Poutine" can only be served in Quebec. However, I had my first Poutine experience in Columbia, Maryland at "The Victoria Gastropub".
All I can say is "Damn, that shit was good". I don't have an honest picture of the actual experience for you...well, I do, but it's damned horrible. My friend Melly Mel tried to take a picture of me eating a huge bite of the stuff on her iPhone, and I just looked washed out and terrible after working all night. Thusly I deleted the pic.
My Poutine?..Fries cooked in duck fat, Duck Confit, Gruyere Cheese, Veloute, and some scallions. I later topped it off with a Kobe Burger with Maple Bacon, Onions, and Swiss (Paging a Cardiologist...anyone?).
In America we have "Cheese Fries"...and they're damned good, but I have never had such a thing as a Veloute (it roughly translates to velvet in English, and it's one of the mother sauces of French cuisine) on top of fries. I beg of you, find some Poutine, or find a recipe..you wont be sorry. I do highly suggest trying the cheese curds as they are the traditionalist cheese with the dish. If you haven't had cheese curds they are briney, and chewy, and I imagine will match well with the sauce and fries.
If you are longing for cheese curds, or have never had them, go up to Wisconsin...they are ubiquitous as Midwestern accents up there...seriously, nothing better than a game of bean bag at a bar (many of you know it as the game "Corn Hole"), drinking Leinenkugel beer, and eating basket upon basket of fried cheese curds. Oh God...do you serve fried food in heaven? I promise if you do I'll still do yard work for my wife, and maintain an active healthy life...within reason of course.