I was 12 when I first moved to Winnipeg, and as the shortest kid in class, I was terribly out of place. I moved from Hawaii (I’m Canadian, my dad had an overseas military posting) and came from a strict, uniformed private school where saying “damn” got you a conduct referral (also known as, the worst thing ever). My ears exploded a little when, after my first week of school, I had heard every “swear word” in the book. Things certainly change, because the potty mouth I have today would put my 12 year-old self to shame. Sorry, mom!
One of the biggest changes I noticed when I first moved here was the food. Gone were the days where friends brought “pupu” platters of sushi to block parties; Winnipeggers like to snack on poutine. If you’ve ever been to Canada, you’ve definitely heard of this grease plate. For years I refused to even try it (gravy and fries…what?) and it took visiting a local poutinerie after some late night dancing to convert me. Poutine (pronounced poo-teen) is a French-Canadian invented treat, typically made with fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
I used mozzarella cheese in this recipe since cheese curds aren’t available everywhere (they can even be tough to find here, sometimes) and I’m no longer in the business of using fancy ingredients that take extra specialty store trips. More errands? No thanks. This poutine can be made with everything in your pantry, and only has three main ingredients.
You can use any kind of potatoes you like for this salty, cheesy treat, and a store-bought packet of gravy powder works best for ease. This will definitely be joining your Friday night dinner rotation, since it has all the ease of takeout. Poutine is best eaten with a fork! Enjoy 🙂
Tools used for this recipe (contains affiliate links):
Mini Cast Iron Skillet: This mini cast iron skillet is perfect for food photos as small dishes or cookware allow for interesting close-ups
Commercial Baker’s Half Baking Sheet: This baking sheet is aluminim which helps with even heating, and the commercial quality means it will last a long time, too.
- 3 lb potatoes (any kind), washed and scrubbed
- 2 TB cornstarch
- 4 TB canola oil
- 6 oz mozzarella, grated
- 1 gravy sauce packet
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the potatoes thinly (the smaller they are, the faster they will cook) and toss them in a bowl with first the cornstarch, then the oil. Spread them out on the baking sheet and bake for about one hour, stirring every 30 minutes or so.
- When the fries are nearly done, make the gravy according to the package instructions (usually mix the powder with 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer). Spoon the gravy over the fries and top them with cheese. Place the tray back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese, then serve. Poutine is best eaten with a fork!