I learned that poutine is a dish originating in Quebec, and it's basically: french fries with cheese curds and gravy. If that doesn't sound good to you, I might call you crazy.
I modified this recipe for the gravy and we cheated by using frozen oven fries (which, to me, made no difference at all). And this is my favorite guilty-pleasure vegan dish I've made yet.
adapted from The Vegan Cookbook Afficionado
16 oz. bag of oven fries, any style
(or you can look at the original recipe and bake oven fries yourself!)
1 onion, diced
3 cups of water
1 t liquid smoke
2 t (vegan) worcestershire sauce
3 t NO-CHICKEN broth powder
2 T Earth Balance margarine
2 T flour (use cornstarch or arrowroot to make it gluten free!)
2 T brown sugar
1/4 c. cubed jack-style cheese (we used Daiya)*
1/2 c. shredded vegan cheese (we used Trader Joe's new shredded, which I LOVE!)*
*And if you're not so sure about veganism (vegan cheese?!), well you can still make this an easy Meatless Monday dish using milk-based cheese. But I promise, once this gets all melty, you won't think you are eating anything other than pure goodness. So give it a try!
(Get your fries in the oven so they're ready once the gravy is done!)
1. Saute onion with 2-3 teaspoons of oil until they begin to brown. Add water, broth powder, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Simmer over low hear until reduced to about 2 cups.
NOTE: if you are not a fan of cooked onions, at this point, you can strain the onions and all of their liquid out or put the whole thing in a blender for a strong onion-flavored gravy (then return to pan). I kept the cooked onions and loved the texture/flavor they added!
2. While the base is simmering, in a large skillet, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add flour and brown sugar, mixing to form a paste.
3. Stir flour mixture constantly until it's a nice bubbly, rich brown color.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to broth mixture, whisking between each addition.
5. Turn hear back to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat to bring it back to a simmer. Whisk constantly to allow gravy to thicken.
6. Once gravy looks thick (begins to get a coating on edges of pan), you're ready!
TO SERVE POUTINE:
Add fries to a large bowl (we loved eating it communal-style!). Top fries with both kinds of cheese, then ladle desired amount of gravy over the top (we added A LOT). and let the cheese melt beneath. Then it's time to dig in!
I am salivating just looking at this photo.
This also made a ton more gravy than even we could eat, so you can save this extra to add to mashed potatoes or biscuits or something later in the week!
You could adapt this recipe many ways by re-flavoring the gravy (maybe try a mushroom version or, like the recipe mine was inspired by, use Beef-less broth powder, or even sweet onions instead of red/yellow onions) or changing up the cheese (pepperjack would add a nice spiciness, and I'd love to try it with a cheddar-style shredded cheese!).
I have a feeling this may become a winter food staple in our house...but no more than twice a month. This stuff is rich--but oh-so-good. Let me know if you try it!
Also, it's Meatless Monday, so I'm back to instagramming my day of food. Find me on IG @mandamiska.