Poutine With a Twist

Belated Happy Canada Day.  To be honest I make a lousy Canadian, I didn’t even know about it until a friend texted me in the morning and asked me what I was doing to celebrate?   He was going to a place in the East Village to eat Poutine and drink beer.  As it turns out what I was doing was making dinner for my friends Jane and Nancy, but now I felt the need to do something Canadian for dinner…..keeping a kosher kitchen prevents me from making the traditional Poutine which mixes Cheese Curds, French Fries and Beef Gravy all together one wonderful plate of messy goodness.

My solution was to finally make the recipe I’ve been wanting to try for vegetarian gravy.  I had some trepidation but was very pleased (as were my guests) with the outcome.  All day today it’s all I can think about and want to put the oil back on to make more fries, but will contain myself.

I slightly adapted this recipe for vegetarian gravy which I cut out of a magazine and I am sorry to say the author’s name and the publications name is not part of my slap dash paste-up so apologies.

Mushroom Gravy

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Clean and very roughly chop the stems and caps of 3/4 pounds of Portobello Mushrooms.  De-seed and stem 2 Red Peppers, cutting into large strips.  Quarter 1 pound of Shallots skin and all, peel and trim 1 pound of Carrots and cut into 2″ pieces, smash and roughly chop 5 cloves of Garlic.

Toss all of the above into a large roasting pan along with 5 big branches of Thyme and 6 big branches of Parsley (stems and all) along with 1/4 cup of Olive Oil.

Place in the oven and cook until nicely browned – give this mixture a stir once or twice during the 45 minutes or so it takes to cook.

When the vegetables are roasted remove from the oven and with a slotted spoon transfer into a large stock pot that has in it: 1 cup of Crushed Tomatoes, 8 cups of Water, 2 Bay Leaves and 1/2 cup of Dried Porcini Mushrooms.  Bring this mixture to a boil.

Meanwhile deglaze the roasting pan with 1 cup of dry White Wine over a medium heat to scrap up any bits left over from the roasted vegetables.  About 2 minutes, then pour into the stock pot.

When the mixture has started to boil reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 45-55 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes then strain through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the roast vegetables, then discard the solids.

Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium large pot add 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter over medium heat, when it has melted add 1/3 cup Flour, stirring constantly cook for about 3 minutes, then add 3 cups of stock to the rue whisking all the time.  Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking to make sure it doesn’t get lumpy!  If it does just put it through a sieve.

Season with salt and freshly grated pepper and stir in 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream.

Great with biscuits and really surprisingly convincing on the Poutine.  Remember if you make Poutine to take the cheese curds out of the fridge well in advance they melt better if they are room temp.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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