Poutine

May 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

Do you know what poutine is? It is a Canadian specialty borne out of heaven. I had never heard of poutine before, until the moment that the blaring lights of a Food Network special (hey, a girl has to have a couple of guilty pleasures, right?) showed the hot, oil-drenched spuds in a pretty basket, and then a man spooned gravy and melty cheese all over the fries…
Now, keeping in mind that I was then currently being buried alive in work, and had subsisted a week on fruit and drinking out of soymilk cartons, after I watched this Food Network special on poutine, I realized that I had never wanted anything more in my entire life. I needed fries and gravy and cheese and all that heart stopping grease in my life.
I would have driven to Canada, this craving was so bad. I didn’t have a car though. Everyone else I knew didn’t want to drive me to Canada for poutine because apparently they had work or school or finals or excuse generating robots. Also, I was mildly sure that the television poutine was not vegan.
Perturbed, yet not defeated, I set my course of action. I was destined for this wondrous Canadian delicacy! I was to make the best vegan poutine of all time. I would make it with the best potatoes out there, with some rich mushroom gravy, and then top them with some Daiya cheese. My French friend, Marlon, helped me out because who better to make French fries than a Frenchman? He also has the same predilection for doing long drawn out activities when deadlines are approaching.
When the vegan poutine was made, we sat out on the sunny porch and ate our cardiac arrest inducing breakfast. Halfway through, we realized our vital mistake! Poutine is a Canadian specialty because they need all that fat and carbohydrates to keep warm. Eating poutine on a sweltering day in America for breakfast makes you feel at once opulent and sluggish and in dire need of a nap. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Vegan Poutine
serves 2 | cook time: 40 minutes
This serves 2 generously, so if you are not a big eater, it’s best to recruit more friends to help you out. Or, you know, make less, but who wants to have a big pot of oil and only make fries for one person? No one. That’s why they should call French fries: friend fries.

Ingredients
- 4 medium potatoes, (I used Yellow Finn)
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Earth Balance or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine, or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed in 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup soymilk
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
- a handful of Daiya cheese (or whatever vegan cheese is your favorite!)
- cast iron pan filled with at least 1″ canola oil/vegetable oil (or other high-smoke point oil)
- salt + pepper to taste

1. Peel the potatoes, and then cut them into fry sized pieces, about 3/4 cm on two sides, and 3 inches long on the third side. Don’t have to use a ruler about this.
2. To fry the potatoes: Heat your cast iron pan with at least 1″ of canola oil to medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when you flick a drop of water across the top and it makes a small sizzle. Drop in your cut potatoes, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the outside is browned and the insides are cooked. Drain on a paper towel. (It’s best to make your friend do this step, because deep-frying things tends to give me pimples…)
3. While the potatoes are frying, saute the cremini mushrooms in the Earth Balance or vegetable oil for 3 minutes over high heat, or until the mushrooms are browned and fragrant. Pout in the white wine to deglaze.
4. Add the soymilk and the cornstarch/water mixture, and bring to a simmer. Stir until thickened, then move to a blender or food processor.
5. In the food processor, add the tahini, garlic, paprika, and coffee, then blend until smooth.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you used Earth Balance for the mushrooms, you will not need to use salt because Earth Balance is so salty, but you may need to add a pinch if you used vegetable oil.
7. To assemble: Place the fries in a bowl, then top with gravy, the vegan cheese, and then more gravy. Eat, unbuckle your belt, then eat some more.

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§ 3 Responses to Poutine

  • Anna says:

    Aw man, poutine! I still need to try traditional non-vegan poutine, but yours looks just as tasty. :) And I know I probably say this a lot, but your photography gets better and better with every post.

  • next time you have a food craving like this, TELL ME and we’ll run away to canada together in search of glorious food. you and marlon are the best procrastination team. the photos are beautiful!

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