Announcing that you’re making poutine gives one of two reactions:
A) SWEET! That’s my favourite! Can I help? Do you need a taste tester? How much are you making, because you’re going to need more!
Or B) …. Huh?
Usually people who respond with Option A are either Canadian, have travelled to Canada, or are obsessed with Canadian cuisine for some strange reason (BECAUSE IT’S DELICIOUS). So don’t worry too much if you haven’t heard of it, just know that you’re about to be introduced to a dish so Canadian you’ll be saying ‘eh’ and ‘aboat’, and trying to learn French by the time you’re finished your plate.
Poutine is a French Canadian classic, invented in Québec. It contains three basic things:
- Cheese curds.
- Oceans of hot gravy with which to melt said cheese curds over said fries into a gooey mess that no one can eat gracefully. Do not wear your best shirt.
It’s the quintessential ‘I’m freezing, it’s -40°C and need something satisfying to fill me’ dish, and whether you pronounce it ‘Pou-tin’ or ‘Pou-teen’, you’ll have to agree that it’s completely delicious.
I will not tolerate a lack of poutine in my life, potatoes or no.
Cue Sweet Potato Poutine.
Guys… I’m never ever going back.
This dish is the perfect mix of sweet and salty, and someone better trademark this quick, because I’m determined it will be the Next Big Thing. Move over salted caramel fig tart maple bacon bourbon macarons, because Sweet Potato Poutine is coming through!
First, we need to make our sweet potato fries. Now, I’m going to be completely honest here: I’ve tried what feels like hundreds of ‘No Fail Sweet Potato Fries!!!!!!!’ and honestly, they’ve all kind of failed me a couple times. I’m convinced that making sweet potato fries requires the right weather, perfect cosmic alignment, or a little bit of magic, and but these will turn out 80-90% of the time. And no matter how crispy they are, they always taste DELICIOUS. Once they’re smothered in cheese curds and gravy, no one will care what they look like anyway.
To start, peel and chop those sweet potatoes up nice and thin, fry size! About 1/4 inch squared. I find the smaller they are, they crispier they tend to get.
Soak those babies in water for at least 10 minutes. I’ve tried it with this step, I’ve tried them without this step, I’ve seen “soak ‘em for AT LEAST AN HOUR”, and I’ve seen “just dip them in!” 10 minutes seems to work well for me.
In a giant ziplock bag, add some cornstarch, drain those fries and dump ‘em in there. Shake shake shake until they’re all lightly coated! This will help make them crispy!
Add a little olive oil, and continue to shake until they’re coated. Dump them on a baking sheet. If you want easier clean-up (but harder flipping because they stick – you have been warned!), put down a sheet of tin-foil. Make sure there’s a little space between them all, if they’re stacked or touching too much, they won’t get crispy.
Pop those in the oven at 450°, and set for 25-30 minutes, flipping at about 15 minutes in. Everyone’s oven is different, so keep an eye on these babies! You’ll know they’re done once the edges start to brown and crisp and you can’t stand waiting another second.
They’ll come out gorgeous, crisp, brilliant orange. (Seriously, I actually had to tone down the orange in these photos because they looked practically radioactive).
While they’re in the oven, you can start warming your gravy. I always keep some homemade in the freezer from whenever I make a chicken, or turkey for thanksgiving or a roast. The stuff in the packages is full of ‘spices’ and weird preservatives you can’t pronounce. And they’re so freaking SALTY. Plus homemade is just more delicious.
Get yer cheese curds ready. If you can’t find cheese curds, shredded mozzarella will work just fine. I mean, it won’t be real poutine, you need to come to Canada for that. It’s how we
lure our polar bear bait entice our tourists!
Dump those in your sweet potato fry filled bowl.
Oh baby. Drizzle that hot gravy on there.
Ooooohhhhhh myyyyy goodness. The gravy will just melt all that cheese. In fact, after taking these pictures, I went back and added more gravy because things weren’t nearly melted enough. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing!
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Additional toppings (optional - I usually don't add any): salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary.
- 1 cup cheese curds (You might be able to get these from a local dairy, as they may not have them in your grocery store if you're not in Canada. If not, 1 cup shredded mozzarella will do.)
- 1 1/2 cups gravy of any kind. Can be chicken , turkey, roast beef, pork, brown... any will do. I generally use homemade.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Peel and chop your sweet potatoes so that they're fry size, about a 1/4 inch square. The smaller they are, the faster they'll cook, so try to keep them all about the same size.
Place the fries in a bowl and fill with water, soaking for about 10 minutes.
Dump cornstarch into a large ziplock bag. Drain your bowl of fries, and put the fries in the bag. Shake until they're all lightly coated.
Add olive oil to the bag, and shake until coated again.
Place fries on a tin-foil covered baking tray (heads up - the tin foil makes for an easier time cleaning, but they will stick to it when it comes time to flip them!), and make sure they aren't really touching each other. You want nice crispy fries, and that won't happen if they're touching too much.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping at about 15 minutes. Every oven is different, so make sure to check them! You'll know they're done once the ends start getting brown.
Heat your gravy so that it's nice and hot while the fries are cooking. You want to serve this HOT!
Divide the fries into individual bowls. Dump half of the cheese curds in each bowl, then top with the gravy.
The gravy will melt the cheese curds, and turn everything into a gooey, delicious mess! Dig in!