Poutine

Yesterday, host nation Britain saw its first gold medals of this year’s Games, when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning took first place in the women’s pairs rowing event.  Bradley Wiggins, a British cyclist, made history when he took home a gold medal in the road cycling time trial.  This is his seventh medal ever, making Wiggins the most decorated British Olympian as well as the first man to win both the road cycling time trial and Tour de France in the same year.  China’s Uchimura won the men’s artistic gymnastics all-around competition.

For today’s installment of the 2012 Summer Olympics feature, we’re looking at the 1972 Montreal Summer Olympics. The first Olympics held in Canada saw 198 nations compete in 21 sports, although Canada didn’t win any gold medals- making this the first time a Summer Olympics hosting country did not win a gold medal. Perhaps the most memorable athlete of the 1976 Summer Olympics was Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who scored seven “perfect 10’s” and won three gold medals.

When you ask most people to name a Canadian food, they’ll probably answer with “poutine.”. For those unfamiliar, poutine is a dish made by taking French fries, covering them in gravy, and toping it with cheese curds. It used to sound terrifically unappealing to me. My, how times have changed. My one struggle with this was finding cheese curds. I checked the cheese section of many many grocery stores near me. Lane searched at two places as well, all with no cheese curds. Lane brought home a mixture of cheddar and Gruyère and said it would work. When a man searches for an ingredient for me and offers an alternate, I don’t ask questions.  I’m pleased to report that the cheddar Gruyère mixture worked very well.  The gravy for this is simple, but it does need to simmer for a little over half an hour.  I put Lane in charge of frying the French fries (hey, I had gravy to stir and cheese to grate).  I would definitely make this again.

poutine

Poutine

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes (Russett work best), cut into steak fries
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. freshly grated cheese (I used a combination of Gruyere and cheddar, cheddar would work fine, cheese curds would be ideal)
  • 48 oz. vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

Pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy pot or skillet suitable for frying.

Turn the heat on to medium-high and (using a deep fry thermometer) wait until the oil comes up to 375 degrees.

While waiting for the oil to heat, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat.

Add the flour to the butter and whisk until butter and flour are combined.

Pour in the beef stock, 1/2 C. at a time, whisking to combine the stock with the flour mixture until smooth.  Repeat until all stock has been added (when about 1/2 of the stock has been added, you can pour the remaining stock in and whisk- the mixture will no longer be lumpy at that point).

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the gravy simmer for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally.

While gravy simmers, make the fries by dropping the cut potatoes carefully into the hot oil.  Turn up the heat to get the oil back to 375 degrees (you will need to monitor oil temperature carefully from this point on).

Fry the potatoes for approximately ten minutes, until the outside is golden brown and the inside is cooked and mealy.

Remove using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Put 1/4 C. of the grated cheese in the bottom of each serving bowl.

Top with French fries.

Top with gravy.

Top evenly with remaining cheese.

Eat immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source:  Geeks are Sexy

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