I’ve been really lucky to visit Canada for a couple of extended holidays when visiting my uncle.
It is my favourite place other than home, and i love it so much.
I haven’t been for almost 15 years now though, but there is still so many things i miss. Thankfully Manchester means i can get a Timmy’s fix, but the things I’d do for pickle flavoured lays, this bag of like pretzels and shredded wheat and what not with sour cream and chive flavours, this one particular make of mozzarella sticks that were so cheesy i almost choked, and the poutine.
The UK is always trying to make poutine, but it’s never as good because they use mozzarella instead of cheese curds, but guys i found cheese curds and I made real poutine.
The most popular story comes from a restaurant in Warwick, called L’Idéal. Cheese curds and French fries were separate items on the menu, a customer was in a rush and asked owner Fernand Lachance to just throw them in the same bag. It’s said he then looked in the bag and said “This is poutine” a slang Quebec word for mess. From 1957 Poutine was put on L’Idéals menu, with gravy being added in 1962 to keep the dish warm.
Another tale comes from Drummondville, at a fast food restaurant called Le Roy Jucep. They already served a dish of fries and gravy, but owner Jean-Paul Roy noticed people ordering a side of cheese curds. By ’64 they added it to the menu, and Jean – Paul now has a certificate of copyright registration on display in his restaurant.
Either way, this is without a bit doubt a creation and from Quebec that soon travelled worldwide.
Cheese curds or grated mozzarella
1 and a half Tbsp of cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
20g of plain flour
330ml of chicken broth
1. Chop your potatoes up into chips, I’d recommend thinner fries sized and skins on. Fill a pan with boiling water and set to a high heat, add your fries and boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Then take out and pat dry. Place on a oven tray, spray with fry light or oil, a sprinkle of salt then in the oven at 180 for around 30 minutes.
2. Mix together the cornstarch and water in a small dish and leave to one side.
3. In a pan melt the butter and then sprinkle in your flour, stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it’s a golden brown.
4. Add your stock and whisk, turning the temperature up to bring to a boil.
5. Add about half the cornstarch mixture and whisk. Let your gravy simmer, if you want it thicker add the rest.
6. Plate up your chips, add a ladel or two of gravy and top with cheese, pop back in the oven to let it melt a little more.
If you’re anything like me add more gravy and ketchup, yes, ketchup.
P.S i googled cheese curds UK and found a couple of small places that sell them, it’s a little pricey, but for me it was worth it.