RECIPE: Create a Canada Day poutine bar

A big pan of fries with cheese and gravy? This dish from professional home economist Emily Richards will turn any night into a party!

INGREDIENTS

4 large yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 2-1/4 lbs/1.125 kg)

2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

7 oz (200 g) cheese curds or fresh bocconcini ball, torn into pieces

GRAVY

3 tbsp (45 mL) butter

3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried thyme

1 small garlic clove, grated

3 cups (750 mL) ready-to-use beef broth

1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch

2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then each half into six to eight long wedges.
  3. Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn wedges over and roast for 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
  5. While the potatoes are roasting, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and thyme; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Whisk in garlic, broth and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a gentle boil.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water; whisk into gravy and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Keep warm.
  8. Sprinkle potato wedges with cheese curds. Ladle gravy evenly over top. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving, to start melting the cheese. (You can also pop the poutine back in the oven to get it really gooey!)

Serves six to eight

VARIATIONS

For a big flavor boost, try using 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded sharp (old) Cheddar cheese in place of the cheese curds.

PULLED PORK POUTINE

1 bag (750 g to 1 kg) frozen French fries

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) pulled pork or turkey or beef

2 cups (500 mL) shredded mozzarella cheddar blend cheese

  1. Bake French fries according to package directions on a large parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  2. Ladle pulled pork and sauce evenly over top of fries and sprinkle with cheese. Place baking sheet in preheated medium grill; close lid and grill for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes six servings

MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT

Substitute thinly sliced chopped Montreal smoked meat for the pulled pork. Ladle on 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of your favourite gravy.

BACON

Substitute 2 cups (500 mL) cooked chopped bacon for the pork. Ladle on 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of your favourite gravy.

PEROGY

Substitute fries with oven baked perogies then top with your favourite toppings. Ladle on 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of your favourite gravy. Dollop with sour cream to serve.

SUBSTITUTION

Use 1 large bag of frozen fries for the homemade fries.

GRILL OPTION

Place the baking sheet on a preheated medium heat grill. Close lid and warm through to melt cheese.