Friday, May 23, 2008

Vegetarian Miso Poutine

Poutine is a French-Canadian staple. The French-Canadian staple. More than pea soup which is something more traditional, dating back to the days of the voyageurs, poutine is part of the French-Canadian identity. And though the Quebeckers claim it as their own, all the other ignored French-Canadians beyond the Quebec borders love the 95% fat poutine.

I can take no credit for this poutine recipe. It comes from one of the ex-chefs at Calactus Cafe. The Moncton restaurant, which is pure brilliance for all vegetarians and non-vegetarians, does not make this poutine. They should. But they don’t. This guy simply makes it for his friends in Moncton’s only hostel, the C’mon Inn (clever, isn’t it). All I can take credit for is my particular recipe. The guy who introduced me to it only mentioned the ingredients. The rest is all me. Maybe a sign that I’m finally gaining a capacity to cook without a recipe. Give me the ingredients without any quantities or directions and I’ll whip it up. Within reason, of course.

Anyways, a poutine is three things: 1) fresh cut fries; 2) cheese curds; 3) gravy. The only thing different with this recipe lies in the latter of the three ingredients. Instead of a beef stock based gravy you do it as the following recipe describes. I don’t know how readily available cheese curds are outside of Eastern and Central Canada but google it. You’ll get an idea. This fries are easy. Cut clean peeled or unpeeled potatoes into fry sticks, toss in oil, salt and pepper and bake. Or you can deep-fry. But I prefer to bake them. This dish is fat enough as it is.

Miso Gravy

3 cups water
¼ cup miso paste
½ cup chopped mushrooms, oyster or shiitake
1 tbsp yellow curry paste
Dash fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
Corn starch

1. First consider that all ingredients are an approximation. You’ll have to eyeball this one.
2. Put all ingredient in a sauce pot, bring to boil and cook till mushrooms have softened and stock has reduced somewhat3. Transfer a bit of hot liquid to another bowl and mix with corn starch till there are no lumps. Pour the corn starch mixture into the miso sauce. Do this till you’ve reached desired sauce thickness. The sauce should stick to the cheese and fries once you’ve poured it on top of the latter ingredients.


Linda said...

just a thought, you shouldn't boil miso it destroys the natural enzymes or whatever in it

Stone Spoon said...

I've actually discovered this recently Linda. I only put the miso in at the end, simply to warm it up, and the flavour was completely different.