Appetizers Seasonal Vegetarian

Vegetarian Poutine

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Happy Canada Day!!! is what I would have said if I posted this on Canada Day…over two weeks ago. I made this poutine on Canada Day and for Canada Day, but then I crashed the entire website when I tried to post it because I finally ran out of space on the server after 5 long years of eating. I am back in business though so you will just have to pretend that it’s a Canadian holiday and bear with me.

Poutine is one of the things that I miss the most about Canada, especially since I went vegetarian a couple of years ago. Now I can’t even have it when I go back to visit. It’s a good thing that it’s super easy to make a vegetarian version at home though! I never knew, but now that I do, it’s poutine for every meal from here on out.

For those of you poor, unfortunate souls who missed the poutine train, it is the most delicious thing ever. Poutine is just made up of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It’s typically a beef gravy; hence, the vegetarian conundrum. When you hear what poutine is for the first time, it doesn’t sound that great. I realize that, but you have to trust me if you haven’t tried it. It is truly the best thing ever. You can get poutine all over the place in Canada (even at fast food restaurants). I have come across it in a few places in the States, but it’s usually just not the same. I find that restaurants here are trying too hard by adding all sorts of other fancy ingredients to it instead of just letting it be what it is.

For the vegetarian version, I made a simple vegetarian gravy using vegetable broth, mushrooms, butter, flour and water. It turned out perfect – my husband even said he couldn’t taste the difference between this gravy and the beef version that you usually get. You can leave the mushrooms out if you aren’t a big fan of them. One of the age old problems of poutine-lovers throughout the States is finding cheese curds. I could never find them when we lived in Texas. Luckily, I don’t have that problem here in San Diego. They sell them at Sprouts. I picked up the very last package of them from the store yesterday (apparently the entire Canadian community of San Diego was making poutine for Canada Day). 

I fully intended to fry the potatoes and do completely classic poutine. I made a last minute decision to bake the fries instead of making a disaster of our kitchen with the oil and then feeling like dying after eating them. I am really happy with the decision. They turned out nice and crispy because I soaked the sliced potatoes overnight first, and I don’t think it makes a big difference from frying them when you are just going to smother them in gravy anyways. 

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Vegetarian Poutine
3 large Russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vegetable better than bouillon
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
Cheese curds (I used about 1/4 cup)
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Peel and slice the potatoes as thinly as possible to resemble fries.

Soak the potatoes in cold water and store overnight in the fridge.

Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels (I let them sit out to dry for about an hour before baking).

fries

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Toss the potatoes in olive oil and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

fries1

Bake at 450 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Flip them after about 20 minutes.

fries2

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in the microwave.

Mix in the better than bouillon until dissolved to make a broth.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Add the flour, whisking to form a roux (thick sauce).

Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, whisking constantly until combined.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a separate pan.

Add the mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes until soft.

mushrooms

Add mushrooms to the gravy and let sit on the low heat until ready to serve.

gravy

Sprinkle some salt on the fries right after they come out of the oven and top with cheese curds.

cheese curds

Pour gravy overtop and garnish with some chopped parsley.

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Vegetarian Poutine
 
Ingredients
  • Vegetarian Poutine
  • 3 large Russet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable better than bouillon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • Cheese curds (I used about ¼ cup)
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice the potatoes as thinly as possible to resemble fries.
  2. Soak the potatoes in cold water and store overnight in the fridge.
  3. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels (I let them sit out to dry for about an hour before baking).
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Toss the potatoes in olive oil and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Flip them after about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in the microwave.
  8. Mix in the better than bouillon until dissolved to make a broth.
  9. Melt ¼ cup butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  10. Add the flour, whisking to form a roux (thick sauce).
  11. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, whisking constantly until combined.
  12. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.
  13. Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a separate pan.
  14. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes until soft.
  15. Add mushrooms to the gravy and let sit on the low heat until ready to serve.
  16. Sprinkle some salt on the fries right after they come out of the oven and top with cheese curds.
  17. Pour gravy overtop and garnish with some chopped parsley.

 

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