So we’re a couple of days into Montreal’s first ever Poutine Week, how is everyone doing? Are you clothes fitting a bit snug, walking a bit slower and glassy-eyed? Has your cognitive decision making been compromised? If you’re like me and pounding down the poutines hard in the name of our national treasure that isn’t Celine Dion, then chances are your fridge is quickly piling up with takeout containers of failed conquests. The best thing about poutine is also the worst thing about poutine… the leftovers; and not only the leftovers, but the age old argument of how to properly heat them up.
Making my way through various spots around the city, I’ve amassed various poutine remnants and after trial and error, I’ve found the optimal way of reheating the poutine depending on what kind it is.
Method 1 – French fry based poutines
Poutine: Poutineville’s Braised beef poutine + Burgerbar Crescent’s “Hangover” poutine.
Ingredients: Braised beef, sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil.
I realized a while ago, when you try to nuke anything dense in the microwave, setting it to 5 minutes isn’t going to do a thing but bring your plate up to a million degrees and leave your fries; like asshole soup or pasta sauce; exploding all over the microwave and remaining cold in the middle. What you need is a moist heat that’s going to permeate your food. Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, coincidentally, “Moist Heat” was my stripper name. Tactic of choice, the “wet-fry”!
The technique to pan-fry dumplings works just as well in this context. Empty your poutine into a skillet on medium-high heat, and heat it up for about 5 mins. Once your poutine starts talking and repenting for making you feel gross for the past few days and starts crackling and popping, go ahead and drown it with half a cup of water (trust me) and put a lid over the pan.
This will not only reconstitute the wiry potatoes that live inside your lump of leftover poutine, but the steam will actually loosen it up – don’t worry about the cheese, the steam isn’t hot enough to melt it, just enough to soften it. Remove the lid and then let it sit in the pan for a couple of minutes, enough to dry and crisp up the bottom. This technique isn’t going to restore your fries to a post-oil-bath status, but it also isn’t going to make your leftovers suck.
Method 2 – Roasted potato based poutines
Poutine: Fabregé’s Breakfast Poutine.
Ingredients: Roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, and red peppers, bacon, hollandaise sauce, cheese curds and a fried egg.
Even when I was eating this, the first thing that went through my head was… “I think the guy behind me farted…” But the second thing was, “Hey, you know what, this breakfast poutine would make a really great hash.” So I hashed up the leftovers that I brought home.
All it takes is a medium chop of all your ingredients, press them together in an oiled pan, set to medium-heat and give it about 8-10 minutes to heat through and bind. I ended up mixing to shredded mozzarella I had in the fridge to have the gnarly bits hold together. The crust is what makes any kind of hash heavenly.
There you have it, I present to you, “Poutine two-ways”. I mean, obviously there are other ways to heat up poutine, just none that are this awesome.
Were you able to get out and try some of Montreal’s finest poutine creations this week? You have a few days left, so get out there and poutine your faces off!