Sunday, February 6, 2011
This home-made version of the French-Canadian classic was every bit as tasty as poutines we have eaten in Quebec! That may be due to my culinary skills, or more likely to the fact that the amazing cheese curds we used came to us directly from Quebec (curd-esy of our friend Chris... merci.)
Nigella Lawson has the best roasted potato recipe. ever. period.
So, I didn’t really have a choice but to make the “fries” Nigella’s way.
I use fingerling potatoes. Cut them lengthwise into fat strips.
Boil them for 4 min. Just enough that they are softish, but not fully cooked.
Drain. Sprinkle with a Tbsp of fine cornmeal and a pinch of salt. With the lid on tight,
shake the pot around, bashing the potatoes until they are a mealy, beaten version of themselves. In a roasting pan, heat up a big dollop of butter and some olive oil in a really hot oven (400 - 450). When the oil is bubbling away, tip the beaten taters in, mix around and bake for 1 hour or so, turning them every 15 min. They will crisp to perfection on the outside, and be divinely fluffy inside. Add salt to taste.
I had leftover beef stock. The kind in the carton. So, I used it. If you have proper gravy, you have a head start. Make this meal after a roast beef dinner to use up leftover gravy.
If you are using stock like me, put it in a small pot with a clove of garlic, crushed, 1/2 Tbsp whole peppercorns, and fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, or whatever savory herbs you prefer. Let the stock simmer the whole time the potatoes are roasting. It should reduce to half its volume. At that time, take a 1/4 cup of it out of the pot, and whisk in a couple Tbsp of cornstarch. When there are no lumps, pour back into the pot and stir. Let it cook until thickened. Add more starch if needed.
The Assembly: You know what to do.