How to Cook Poutine, Quebec’s Famous Dish

dive bar

An emblematic French Canadian meal, poutine was invented in the mid 1950s in rural Quebec–and no one agrees on who, exactly, came up with it first. But  one thing’s for sure: poutine is delicious. Here are tips on how to properly cook it at home.

First things first: What is poutine?

Poutine got more popular in the last few years, thanks to chefs such as Brian Henry and Martin Picard, who started treating it like the delicacy it truly is and brought it to a broader audience.  Poutine is quite simple and humble, and is just the assemblage of three ingredients: French fries and fresh cheese curds, topped with a thick, hot, tasty brown sauce. Voilà.

Cooking Poutine: The Fries

Ideally, you would pick Idaho or Russet potatoes: their taste and texture suits the poutine best. Cut them according to your preferences: I, for one, prefer small, crispy julienne fries, so I cut my potatoes in little sticks no larger than ¼ of an inch. But larger fries are good too. Fry your potato sticks in peanut oil until done.

The Cheese

Now this is a tricky one, for good cheese is key to great poutine. And cheese curds, for some reason, are not easy to find, depending on where you live. Here, in Quebec, you find them in almost every corner store, wrapped in little plastic bags. But elsewhere in Canada, it is not necessarily the case, and it is even worse in the States. Ask at your local cheese factory for information on where to get a hand on fresh cheese curds. Or, if you are up for it, you can even make your own.

In order to have the best poutine possible, the cheese online casino curds have to be extra fresh. How can you tell a fresh curds from a not-so-fresh one? A fresh one is looks kind of oily and squeaks notably when you chew it.

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America’s Best New Sandwiches, Part 2

Last month ES brought you our list of America’s top 10 new sandwiches. But blogga always said that reader knows best.

Many of you commented on our original story to tell us which of your favorite innovative sandwich should have been included. We chose the ten tastiest suggestions and now present an encore list: America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches, as selected by Endless Simmer readers.

10. Steak Poutine Pita — U Needa Pita St. Catharine’s, Ontario

What could be better than poutine, Montreal’s signature street food? How about throwing that poutine — cheese curds, fries and gravy included — on a pita, so you can actually eat it while walking down the street? Add some steak and you’ve got yourself one helluva sandwich. And yes, for the sake of U Needa Pita, we’re including Canada as part of America this one time only.

9. Westside Monte Cristo — Melt Bar and Grilled — Cleveland

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: there’s no food so good that it can’t be made better by a trip to the deep fryer. Kudos to Melt for being brave enough to test this theory out on the monte cristo breakfast sandwich — honey ham, smoked turkey, Swiss and American cheese — all battered in beer and deep fried.

8. Chacarero — La Sombra — Austin

We’re officially placing money on Chile’s signature sandwich — the chacarero — to become the next bahn mi, and La Sombra‘s version is the most sumptuous one we’ve seen yet. Shiner Bock marinated sliced hangar steak topped with green beans, avocado, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo, all on a thin, toasty bolillo.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

smoked meat montreal

– Everyone has their own addition to America’s best new sandwichesMike:

All these look great, but nothing beats the Steak Poutine Pita from U-Need-A-Pita in St. Catharines ON. Steak, Cheese, Fries, and Gravy all in one pita.


If you’re ever in Orlando, FL you’ve gotta check out Pom Pom’s teahouse and sandwicheria. The Mama Ling Ling’s thanksgiving dinner sandwich is absolutely phenomenal

What’s yours? Keep the great sandwich list going, and we may have to publish a sequel post. On another note, TimD stands up for the meat-or-die crowd:

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

kale chip fail

– Reaching back to an old Friday Fuck Up, erisgrrrl confirms that cooking kale chips is easier said than done:

I have tried to make kale chips twice and both times it was fail city! They looks so easy and tasty! I have no idea what I did wrong but it was no good! So, I totally feel your pain!

Why is this so hard? Some tips please? Anyone?

– In another oldie-but-goodie, real live French-Canadian Jean-Guy Bourque approves of our NYC Tour de Poutine:

I am a French-Canadian who left Montreal for a 6 month visit to the USA 42 years ago, and I’m still here in New Jersey…I am very happy to see that you can finally get a taste of Montreal here in the NYC area! Bravo! What I really hope for is for “smoked meat” to also catch on here…You’ll forget about NY style pastrami once you’ve tried Montreal’s smoked meat! Also the Montreal style of BBQ chicken that you get at places like Chalet BBQ, Benny’s or St Hubert BBQ…

Consider us on board the smoked meat bandwagon!

– Finally, star ES commenter erica offers up some more ideas for what to cook with lentils:

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– Britannia recently mapped out the different kinds of bacon for us, but reader Harleytexas cries foul:

Canadian bacon is an American invention that no one in Canada buys because we have peameal/back bacon which is way better.

True? The commenter’s name doesn’t lend an awful lot of cred regarding Canadian issues, but I’d sure like to hear more about this back bacon. Looks tasty.

– Most of you agree with gansie’s protestations that there is no such thing as a giant cupcake, although erica offers a potential line of defense:

I’m no expert but I’ve heard cupcake snobbists saying things like “a cupcake has a finer crumb,” though I’m inclined to agree that a giant cupcake is just cake.

– And everyone agrees that cream cheese saves the day, but Michaela picks a fight:

I think the real question is, whipped or regular? I can’t stand the regular stuff, but I’d take whipped cream cheese any day.

Blashpemy, I say. Others?

(Photo: snowpeas&bokchoi)

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Three Little Pigs


It’s no secret that we here at Endless Simmer consider ourselves bacon aficionados. We eat bacon, we drink bacon and even make bacon. But do we really know what it is? Over the years I’ve proclaimed my love of English bacon and boasted its superiority over your traditional American bacon, but we’ve never looked at why that is. I’m no butcher but I’ve eaten enough bacon to have a fair understanding of the different types on offer.

From clockwise left, we have Canadian, standard American and English bacon, cooked in a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Here’s a quick lesson.

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