Monday, April 17, 2017

Poutine: French Fries with Gravy and Cheese (gluten-free : nutrient-dense)

Last semester when my family "visited" Canada on our homeschool world trip, we discovered poutine, which is essentially french fries topped with gravy and cheese. This semester, while focusing on the United States,we discovered that poutine is also a treasured food in the northeastern states. New Hampshire even has a poutine festival!

When making the homemade oven fries, I use a combination of refined coconut oil and sunflower oil. Coconut oil is ├╝ber healthy, but its smoke-point is too low to use it alone. By combining the coconut oil with sunflower oil, the overall smoke-point of the oil is higher so I can achieve a nice crispness to the fries by cooking them at a high temperature.

Poutine is not gourmet, and not even particularly pretty, but it is SO good! My family does a happy dance every time I make poutine. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do.

Poutine
Serves 3
Make the Oven Fries:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes. Remove any bad spots. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
  3. Slice the potatoes thinly, a bit less than 1/8-inch thick. Spread them out on two baking sheets. I like to put the smaller pieces (from closer to the ends of the potatoes) on one baking sheet and the larger pieces on another baking sheet, since the smaller ones tend to cook faster.
  4. Drizzle the sunflower oil over the potatoes. Add the coconut oil, and mix all around to make sure the potatoes are well-coated with oil. I find that using my hands work best for this. 
  5. Spread the potatoes back out to make sure they are in a single layer. Sprinkle with finely ground Celtic sea salt.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the potatoes are starting to brown. 
  7. Remove the potatoes from the oven (one sheet at a time) and flip over the potatoes. Then swap the placement in the oven (whichever sheet was on the upper rack should now go on the lower rack). Bake again for ~10-15 minutes longer. The smaller fries will tend to cook faster than the larger ones, so they'll probably be done a few minutes before the larger fries.
  8. While the fries cook, prepare the gravy as described below.
  9. As soon as the potatoes are done baking, sprinkle them again with salt.
  10. Place the cooked fries on a paper-towel-lined-plate to drain off most of the excess oil. 
Make the Gravy and Prepare the Cheese:
  1. Cut the cheese into smallish cubes and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
  3. Whisk in the rice flour and allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Whisk in the chicken bone broth. Add the salt and bring to a boil. (My homemade chicken broth is not salted. If you are using salted broth, make sure to reduce the amount of salt accordingly.)
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to let the gravy thicken.
  6. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, until the fries are done.
Assemble the Poutine:
  1. Divide up the fries evenly onto plates. Do NOT eat any fries yet, or you'll never stop 'cause they are addicting!
  2. Top the fries with the Mozzarella chunks.
  3. Spoon gravy over it all. There will likely be a little leftover gravy, but better too much gravy than not enough.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Some perfect accompaniments would be marinated cabbage salad or a green salad topped with honey mustard mayo dressing.

*Traditionally, poutine is made with cheese curds. However, I can't purchase cheese curds locally at any of the stores where I shop, so I have substituted Mozzarella. 

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