Super Snacks: Poutine Potato Skins

At Endless Simmer we’re a little obsessed with all thing poutine. We eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We haven’t figured out how to turn it into a dessert just yet (any ideas??) but breaking news…we now have poutine as a handheld appetizer.

The idea for poutine potato skins came when I saw that Mile End — the champion of our tour de poutine — was offering these as a take-out Super Bowl snack. I made my version for Super Sunday as well, but I’m pretty sure they make sense for March Madness, too. Or St. Patrick’s Day. Or Easter Sunday. Or a random Monday morning.

These aren’t actually so different from regular potato skins; you’ve just got to pair the spuds with gravy and cheese curds, the other two elements of the holy trinity that make up poutine. The biggest hurdle, of course, is finding fresh cheese curds. In New York, I tracked them down at Saxelby Cheesemongers. For the gravy, I decided to go a little more American than the dark gravy usually found on Montreal poutine, and went with a white bacon gravy. Since I had to cook up bacon strips to produce that gravy, in the end I crumbled them up and added that to the top of the skins as well, because…yeah, I don’t have to explain myself there.

Poutine Potato Skins

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Top 10 New Foods We Ate in 2010

With another year gone it’s time to look back and reflect on all the deliciousness that was. Here are the top ten new dishes the Endless Simmer team was lucky enough to stuff in our mouths over the past 12 months.

10. Fried Peanut Butter, Banana and Bourbon Sandwich

breslin peanut butter and banana

Breakfast at The Breslin in New York is about as ridiculously delectable as it gets. In their modern update on The Elvis sandwich, peanut butter, banana, bourbon and vanilla are all goo-ily encased in a fried-til-crispy puffed skin. (Photo: gsz)

9. Sustainable Sushi

sustainable sushi

Sushi is the modern foodie’s last major guilt trip — a dish that just can’t be done locally, sustainably, or ethically. Or is it? At Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut chef Bun Lai is turning the sushi CW on its head, proving it can be just as tasty and exciting when overfished species like unagi and bluefin are replaced with sustainable, North American fish. If there’s one new food idea that turns into a 2011 trend, we hope it’s this.

8. Burrata Everywhere


This revelatory cheese wasn’t invented in 2010 (try 1920) but this was the year we saw the Italian delicacy pop up on menus all across America. Fresh curds of buffalo milk mozzarella are stirred into salted cream and kneaded and pulled until they take on a gloriously goopy texture that makes all other mozz look like lifeless balls of nothing. Burrata is such a perfect cheese that only a sliver of bread and a touch of olive oil are needed to make it a meal. The quality varies place to place, but we sampled particularly tasty versions at Roman’s in Brooklyn and The Lake Chalet in Oakland. You? (Photo: Chiara Lorè)

7. The Mighty Cone

the mighty cone

The Austin, Texas food truck scene is one of the most heralded in the nation, and this local ready-to-eat-on-the-street treat is the one we’re most hoping to see go national. At this year-old trailer, a tortilla cone is filled with cornflake-almond-chili-crusted chicken tenders, fried avocado, mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce. The ice cream cone is dead. Long live the chicken cone.
(Photo: The Mighty Cone)

6. Malaysian BBQ

fatty cue

Usually by the time a budding chef-lebrity opens their third restaurant, they’re churning out a watered down, assembly line version of what made them famous. Not so for Zak Pelaccio, who branched out this year with Fatty Cue, a Brooklyn restaurant that ingeniously fuses traditional southeast Asian flavors into classic BBQ dishes. The never gimmicky menu ranges from heritage pork ribs in smoked fish-palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper to Manila claims swimming in bone broth with barbecued bacon and chili. (Photo: Fatty Cue)

Next: Top 5 New Foods We Ate in 2010

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NYC Tour De Poutine


It was during a visit to Montreal some eight years ago that I first discovered the glory that is poutine. This French Canadian specialty is a heart-stopping, gut-busting treat that somehow manages to out-America American food, topping crispy French fries with mounds of fresh cheese curds and thick brown gravy. Delicious. Frightening. Genius.

The dish is so popular Up North that it’s even served at McDonald’s in Montreal. Now it’s quickly proliferating New York restaurant menus and appears set to become the next Bahn Mi/Fried Chicken/obsessive over-the-top comfort food trend. So I set out to explore every New York restaurant currently serving poutine. With a little (OK, a lot) of help from some friends, I’m delighted to share this exhaustive report, along with the news that my internal organs appear to still be intact…for now.

Drunken Poutine: T Poutine

t poutine 1

The first NYC shop to make poutine the focus of their menu, this Lower East Side newcomer sees Canada’s challenge and raises it, offering artery-clogging options like the steakhouse poutine (topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese and thinly sliced steak) and the morning glory poutine (applewood smoked bacon and sunnyside up egg). The gravy (which also comes in a veggie version) is nothing to write home about, but this party-area spot, which is BYOB and open til 5am on weekends, is more about the alcohol-soaking extras. You can ramp your poutines up even further with add-ons like Essex pickles and panko fried cheese curds. 168 Ludlow Street, $7.25 – $9.50

Update: T Poutine has sadly closed

Everything Poutine: Corner Burger

corner burger

After returning from an eye-opening holiday trip to Montreal, the owners of this Park Slope burger and sandwich shop have updated their menu with an astounding 13 varieties of poutine. The Americanized takes—pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara make up the “pizza poutine”—are in our opinion unnecessary, but Corner Burger hits a home run with the hearty classic versions, such as “poutine galvaude,” a popular Quebecois take that adds shredded chicken and peas to the standard dish, which features a delicious housemade chicken gravy. 381 5th Avenue, Brooklyn. $6 – $7.50

Extra Cheese Poutine: Dive Bar

dive bar

This long-standing Upper West Side establishment has been serving poutine for years, and there’s nothing fancy or inventive about their take. (The bartender found it hilarious/adorable that I wanted to take a photo.) The possibly canned gravy is mediocre, but as you can see that’s not really the emphasis here. Dive Bar wins the most-cheese-curds-for-your-dollar award by a long shot, and gets extra props for the fact that the extra-crispy fries hold up well under all that weight. 732 Amsterdam Avenue, $8.

Next: The poutine only gets crazier…

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