Okay, reserve judgment, folks. This is not a traditional poutine. I'll be the first to admit that. It's not deep-fried and there are no cheese curds involved. But it is poutine-inspired...and it is delicious!
I can't remember where I first heard the word, but I definitely had no idea what it was. Poutine. So, I did some reading. Then I asked one of my favorite Canadian foodie bloggers - Isabelle at Crumb - for a recipe. Here's hers. I loved that she used a duck confit and skipped the curds. I have nothing against curds; I just don't know where to find them and haven't had any reason to make my own.
In case you don't know what poutine is...it's a sticky mess of french fries, doused in a light brown gravy, and topped with cheese curds. It's a popular hangover cure in Quebec. Peasant fare peddled out of food trucks. That is until recently. It's moved into the mainstream, a new culinary darling in swanky bars from New York to San Francisco. In fact, I saw it on a menu at Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen a couple of weeks ago. No, I didn't order it. It looked artery-clogging, but delicious.
Today, I made my own version...
Baked Smoked Paprika Fries
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and dried
splash of olive oil
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground pepper
dash of smoked paprika
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Slice your potatoes into strips. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Splash in some olive oil and toss to coat. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake till crisped and golden. Mine took about 35 minutes
I had some leftover from our Civet de Canard last night. Just make a roux and whisk in some duck stock...easy peasy. I added in the some leftover duck meat as well.
+ Bacon Cheddar Crumbles
The verdict: Jake liked it and said that it needed a beer. Riley liked the duck gravy - as he did last night - but didn't care for the cheese. Dylan just didn't the dish at all. And, as for me, it was a nice autumn project but not one that I will be making frequently. It's far too rich. But I'm glad I finally tried it. Thanks for the inspiration, Isabelle.