You’ve seen the Eulogies over at Puck Daddy from Yahoo Sports. It’s basically a verbal beat down on the team eliminated from the playoffs. And to make it more offensive, the eulogy is usually written by the eliminated team’s rival. If you have not followed the Eulogies, they are a lot of fun to read. They are written with tongue-in-cheek akin to a “roast”. Well, we want to be part of the fun as well! Since we are not funny at all we have to stick with what we are good at. And what we do well is cook. “Recipes-in between-periods” are our forte. Do what you do best right?
We have a few days before our next round starts and we begin scouting the Yotes, so we thought we would add a Eulogy Recipe. The Kings amazing play has us behind a bit due to the fact we have not quite been walking on the ground these past two weeks. So we have to go back in time and start with Round 1. We begin with the Vancouver Canucks in which we put them away in 5 games. What recipe is Vancouver known for? What special recipe is associated with BC? Poutine of course!
Poutine actually originated in Quebec but is known throughout Canada and even changes according to provinces. The three main ingredients are all the same but how you cook it and what the basics are is debated country wide. Original Poutine is made with Canadian potatoes fried and topped with fresh cheese curds. It is then topped with a pepper gravy made from chicken or veal. This is the original and best but I have read about it from this fancy Poutine to frozen french fries, shredded mozzarella and a can of beef gravy on the top – The Stoner version.
The best write up I found is this one from ehow. This person goes into a really great explanation of the origin and recipe:
The cheese curds are NOT mozzarella – you can use that as an absolute LAST resort, though. It should be made with FRESH fromage beaucronne – like a cheddar cheese curds. Fresh curds are easy to identify, even to a novice, because they squeek, loudly and unmistakenably, when chewed. This squeeking is caused by their high humidity (47% is typical) and slight patina of oil, combined with their flexibility (which, again, is due to their high humidity) which causes the curds to slip and rub against the teeth. The squeek is unmistakable: if you aren’t sure you’re hearing it, you aren’t, and the curds you are eating are more than a day old.
The gravy can be purchased in a can OR a pouch mix, specifically, from the St. Hubert brand. The St. Hubert brand is basically a thickened chicken-stock, seasoned with pepper, and a taste of onions. (French-trained chefs will immediately recognize the base as the standard Velouté sauce, with additions and modifications). Presumably, St. Hubert is well known due in part to its rotisserie chicken restuarants. (to make your own, see below)
You use regularly french fries – nothing fancy.
If you’d like a poutine sauce where you have a little more control over what comes out, here’s a basic sauce which you can use as a base. While you could use it for a poutine sauce as described, you should at least add salt and pepper to taste.
1 quart stock: chicken or veal
2 ounces flour
2 ounces butter or oil
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan.
Combine the fat and flour, cook over high heat, stirring until you have a pale roux (2-3 minutes).
Whip the roux into the stock. Simmer (30-40 min), skimming the surface every 5-10 minutes. Strain the sauce through a chinois or strainer lined with cheesecloth. Salt and pepper to taste.
The above is the recipe for the Velouté sauce, which is the base for a poutine sauce. To make it into a poutine sauce, reduce it by a factor of 2-4 over medium heat. You can also try one of the following modifications:
Add 2 Tsp of pepper to the roux before adding to the stock, for an extra-peppery sauce. Floor-sweeping pepper (the kind sold pre-ground, in bulk) is preferred by classicists.
Add 2 Tsp of fresh ground green peppercorns to the stock while reducing.
Prior to adding the stock, dice 1 small sweet onion into the saucepan, add 2 TBsps of balsamic vinegar, and reduce.
The only real problem that arose with the above recipe is there seems to be no place to find cheese curds around Los Angeles. I saw that they used to have it at the Farmer’s Market but it looks like it is not there anymore. I thought Whole Foods, but that was a no-go as well. It looks like you may have to make your own and the recipe for that is long and involved. Although I did find one recipe that was really easy. Not sure how it would taste but it looks easy to do!
So let’s all raise a bowl of Pountine in honor of those crazy Canucks as they spend the off season on the golf course. Bon Appetit!