Fries: USA and Canada

Happy 4th of July! As Americans we like to celebrate our independence with food and fireworks. Many will be firing up the grill but this year its time to add a not so commonly grilled side dish to the menu- French Fries! And because fries are only made more delicious by adding more to them I’ve added a bonus recipe from our northern neighbors- enjoy!

USA

As a side we had loaded fries- this was the showstopper of the meal! So much so, that we’ve already had them again since this dinner. Did you know you can cook frozen fries on the grill!? I didn’t but it turns out you can and hold onto your hats because this is a game changer!

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French fries are delicious on their own but fries with a smokey grill flavor, smothered in cheese, green onions, and sea salt- shut the front door! They are insanely simple and so delicious- did I mention that they’re tasty? because they are…. I want some now…

Loaded Grilled French Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen french fries
  • 1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 3 slices of bacon crumbled
  • sea salt to taste
  • Tin Foil

Method

  1. Preheat the grill
  2. Create 3 baskets or boats out of tin foil
  3. Place the frozen fries into the tin foil baskets
  4. Place on the grill for 20-30 minutes with the lid closed, stirring occasionally until crispy and cooked through
  5. Divide the cheese between the three boats; close the lid for a couple minutes for the cheese to melt
  6. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with salt, green onions, and crumbled bacon
  7. Enjoy!
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Canada

Poutine

This poor dish is the butt of many jokes and the people who don’t get it (myself included) write this off as a weird dish. My husband saved this one- as he put it “fries with gravy, cheese, and bacon?! How could that not be delicious?”. So Martin and I (mainly I) set out to make poutine.

Like a crazy person I wanted to make my own fries- why I do this to myself I’ll never know…

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French Fries

I followed this recipe:

This clip is from a show called ‘Mind of a Chef’ and I was a big fan and re-watched it several times, so the fan girl in me really wanted to make these fries. It is from chef April Bloomfield and (as always) I vastly underestimated the time needed to make these- not to mention it’s really hard to follow a show when doing a recipe, they leave things out… In the end I soaked the potatoes in water for 45 minutes, boiled them for 45 minutes till ‘fluffy’, then I fried them twice at two different temperatures. They are called ‘thrice cooked chips’ since you cook them three times.

My mother in law has a very delicious and bajillion times easier french fry recipe… the next time we make fries I will be making her’s or buying them frozen. Lesson learned.

Building the Poutine

The recipe I followed for everything else you can find here: https://www.seasonsandsuppers.ca/authentic-canadian-poutine-recipe/

While the fries where doing whatever they were doing I made the gravy. It was simple and easy to follow. It is beef broth based and a little on the thin side.

Next came the cheese. The recipe I followed went into great detail about the cheese and what to buy if you can’t find cheese curds.

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Now you may be wondering what cheese curds are. Cheese curds are baby cheese. In the cheese making process solid curds are separated from the liquid whey. The curds are then gathered and pressed together and aged to make cheddar. The cheese curds needed for poutine are not pressed together but are instead separated from the whey and packaged up for sale. It has a subtle flavor and more of a mozzarella type texture.

For the best experience, above all, your cheese curds must squeak. Sounds weird, I know, but eat some and you’ll understand.

We had some bacon leftover from breakfast that we added on top for fun and that was it. I built it up in an 8×8 pan, we each took a fork and ate it communal style.

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It was tasty but I think this is one that I will happily never make again. I look forward to the day I can order it in a restaurant- now that I know that it is delicious and not weird/ gross like I had initially thought. The more you know 🙂

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