I’ve a cool game I am playing with the children now. Though they are older now, it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun, especially in this trying pandemic era.
In the last post I shared that the game involves being blindfolded and picking a country at random. Whichever country the finger lands at, I will learn more about the country and cook dishes relevant or popular to that place.
Last week after picking Mali the previous week, the Boy’s finger landed smack on Victoria Island, Canada. Now, that’s like almost Arctic territory and I scoured the Net but there’s very limited information about Victoria Island. I even borrowed a book online on Canadian cuisine but nothing on Victoria Island. Disappointed, I decided then to make Canada’s national dish of sorts – poutine!
What is there not to like about fried potatoes! But what’s even better is that it’s served with homemade gravy! And what can make it even better? Adding cheese. Goodness. Loaded with all the good stuff, but yes, not a diet friendly dish at all!
The first thing I did was make the gravy. Authentic ones use a combination of beef and chicken stock but I never have ready made home-made beef stock so I used all chicken. It’s so simple to make. Make a roux of butter and plain flour and make sure the mixture darkens to a dark brown. Add black pepper here at this stage. This adds to the fragrance of the gravy. Once it’s a dark brown, slowly add chicken stock and stir furiously. After that, thicken with 1-2 tsp of cornflour that had been mixed with some water. And that’s it! You may choose to season with salt but for me, that’s just too much sodium because I used boxed chicken stock.
For the potatoes, I used Idaho russet potatoes. They were huge, and the perfect length. Twice fry the potatoes. The first at a lower temperature to cook the insides, and the second at a higher temperature to crisp them up.
I don’t have cheese curds. We don’t have a wide range of cheeses here so I read that the best substitute is mozzarella. Use the block kind and tear it up into chunks.
And that’s it. Poutine is delicious but must be eaten hot. I’m glad I am playing this game because seriously, sometimes I run out of ideas on what to make next for the family. This is spontaneous and educational. Travelling vicariously through food and books now since it’s been 1.5 years since we travelled out of our island. 😦