Archives for posts with tag: gravy

I have been thinking about making sweet potato poutine for some time now.  I love, adore, (basically insert any positive word here) poutine.  Imagine, I had no idea it existed until I was 22 years old!  How did I survive all those years without it?  When, I moved to Montreal for grad school, I discovered this Quebecois delight and have been a die-hard fan ever since.  There is a tiny place on St. Laurent and Rachel called Patati Patata that makes delicious poutine.  When my husband and I spent my birthday weekend in Montreal, despite overeating to no end, we HAD to make a stop there to get some poutine.

Let me tell you, poutine is an indulgence!  Fries slathered in gravy and covered with ooey gooey stringy cheese curds is not exactly classified as a health food.   So, when you are able to eat poutine, enjoy it, enjoy every last bite.  Because you will most certainly be in food euphoria.  It is an absolute street food, nothing fancy or pretentious, though many have tried escalating it to haute cuisine.  If you are interested in foie gras poutine then definitely make a stop at Au Pied Du Cochon or with lobster at Garde Manger.  That is all well and good but there is just something about the street version that is on its own level.

Listen to me lecturing about authentic street poutine, when I myself have adulterated the original version here.  I mean, there are no special occasions for me at least until Valentines day.  Thus, I have to hone in the indulgences, just a bit.  Not to say that I have made diet-friendly poutine.  This is still a treat, but just slightly better for your health.  I bake the sweet potatoes in olive oil and herbs and make a chicken stock based gravy.  There is no compromise on the cheese curds.  I was so happy I found them this week because I see them very sporadically at my grocer.  I wanted to get the white curds, but they only had orange.  I guess beggars can not be choosers.  The cheese curds have an almost squeaky, rubbery texture but when they fully melt with the fries and gravy they become absolutely divine.  Once you have poutine once you will surely be hooked.

Sweet Potato Poutine

No Recipes has a version here

Serves 2 (by itself or 3 as a side)

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, cut into fries (soaked in ice-cold water and then dried with a paper towel)

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

fresh black pepper, to taste

1 sprig rosemary, chopped

1 sprig thyme, chopped

Handful of cheese curds (as much as you like)

chives, for garnish

For the gravy:

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig of rosemary, chopped

2 sprigs of thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon cornstarch (or flour)

2 cups of chicken stock (homemade is best, if you are vegetarian you can use vegetable stock)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the sheet tray in the oven.  Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.  When the oven is ready put the sweet potatoes on the preheated sheet tray and cook for about 10-15 minutes.  For the last 2-3 minutes put the oven on broil so they can get crispy.

Make the gravy by heating a small saucepan with the olive oil and then adding half the butter and shallots.  Allow to sweat for a few minutes and then add the garlic and the thyme and rosemary.  Mix the cornstarch or flour with one cup of the chicken stock and pour into the sauce pan.  Mix it all together and add the remaining chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to boil and allow to thicken.  Turn to low heat and cook for 15 minutes.  Strain the gravy through a sieve, twice.  Add in the remaining butter so that the gravy glistens.

It is nice to use a cylindrical shape serving vessel for the poutine.  Assemble it by putting some sweet potatoes on the bottom and putting half the cheese over them and pouring half the gravy on top and then layering the rest of the sweet potatoes and cheese curds and then the rest of the gravy on top.  Sprinkle with some fleur de sel and chives.  Serve hot.

IMG_7973Even though I looooveeeeeee cooking, there are times I have no idea what to make.  Or more accurately, I don’t feel like making anything!  I beg and plead with my husband to make me something because I know if he HAD to he could make a decent meal.  He knows all my cooking secrets and what ingredients pair well together but he just pretends he has no clue.  So on this night, when I had no idea what to make, I asked him my daily question, “What do you want for dinner?”  Usually, he says, “anything” but on this day, glory be to God who helped me out, he said a roast of beef.  Of course, I don’t have a beef roast on hand so obviously we have to go out and get one (after a stop to the video rental store of course to get some movie like Reservoir Dogs or something I am totally not interested in).

IMG_7940Once we reached the butcher, being a small city he didn’t have the beef tenderloin roast I was imagining in my head.  But, an option of eye of round or prime rib.  Though prime rib is YUM, I would like to save it for special occasions due to its fat content.  I got the eye of round.  I came home having no idea of what sort of cut it was, though the butcher said it was very tender and to cook it at a high temperature then turn it down for the remainder of the cooking time.  I looked it up and it said it was a popular cut in the 1950′s.  I thought to myself, “great, it’s like the food on the show Mad Men, an era when eating Ceasar Salad was exotic.”  Anyhow, I ignored that and cook it as though it were a tenderloin.  Giving the roast a bit of an ego boost if you will.  I used my guru/mentor/idol’s (Ina Garten) style for making a filet roast.  A link to her Filet of Beef recipe is here.

The preparation is so simple, that I know my husband could have done it just as well as me.  No chopping (other than the potatoes), no slaving over the stove (just throw everything in the oven and forget about it)!  The meat was tender and juicy.  The perfect solution for a day where you don’t feel like cooking.  Unless, you go out to eat or  get takeout…..YUM!

*The 2 pound roast was reasonablly priced as well.  My original tenderloin idea would have put a dent in our wallets.  Hehe  :)

Roast Eye of Round with Roasted Potatoes with a Pan Gravy

loosely inspired by Ina Garten

Serves 3

Ingredients

Eye of Round Roast

2 pound eye of round roast (ours was tied by the butcher with butcher’s twine)

1 whole bulb on garlic, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, or to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground black pepper, or to tasteIMG_7977

5-6 sprigs of thyme

3-4 Yukon gold potatoes in wedges

drizzle of olive oil

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Take a baking dish or sheet pan place the beef in the center cover with salt and pepper, leaving a little to put over the potatoes as well.  Throw in the peeled garlic cloves.  I poked holes in the meat and stuffed the holes with some whole cloves, but this is entirely optional.  Put the potatoes in the dish, season them with some salt, pepper, and some thyme.  Cover the beef with the thyme.  Drizzle the whole dish with olive oil.  Place in roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 500 degreees.  After 20 minutes turn it down to 300 for about 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes turn the oven off and let the roast sit for 10-15 more minutes.  Take the roast out of the oven after 10-15 minutes and let it rest for about 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.  (This cooking time is for medium rare bordering medium).

*This roast tasted great the next day in sandwiches.

To make the gravy, take out any drippings from the beef baking dish.  Put them in a small saucepan add about a tablespoon of flour.  Whisk in the flour until it dissolves.  I also added the leftover thyme sprigs into he gravy.  Add 3/4 cup of chicken of beef stock and allow the gravy to thicken on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. If you wish, you may add a dab of butter at the end to make the sauce glisten.  Serve over the beef.

I also served a tomato, red onion, avocado salad on the side.  IMG_7964

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