Poutine. POOOOOOO-TEEEEEN. It's just a really fun word.
And a delicious dish. I mean, our friends up north have really nailed the comfort food arena. Tim Horton's, beaver tails, Nanaimo bars, and POUTINE. No wonder everyone is trying to move up there...I mean, that's the REAL reason, right folks? Nothing to do with who El Presidente is. Put on your best holier-than-thou act all you want---you REALLY just want to have unlimited access to Timbits and a double double from T-Ho's. AND POUTINE. Which, if you're not hip to it, is french fries, covered in fresh cheese curds, and then doused in rich brown gravy. Go on, tell me you're not salivating.
I was perusing the cheese case at my local wine purveyor's the other day and found a package of jalapeno cheese curds from Edgewood Creamery in Purdy, Missouri. They were marked down for quick sale, and I was happy to oblige.
What shall I do with these cheese curds? The only honest, respectable thing one can do with cheese curds-- serve them over potatoes with brown gravy. It's every cheese curd's dream to go out like that.
BUT...I didn't have fries at home. And I didn't want to MAKE fries. But what I did have?
So, like a good Midwestern non-Canadian gal, I baked up some crispy, delicious tots...
...and got to work.
INGREDIENTS: (Makes 2-3 servings)
Approximately 2 handfuls of tater tots (or more. I won't judge.)
4 ounces cheese curds
1 cup prepared brown gravy (I use Tony Chacheres)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onions (you could easily add or do mushrooms instead--I had some sliced onions I needed to use up and they went really well in this dish.)
Bake the tater tots according to package directions until brown and crisp on the outside (generally about 20 minutes).
While that's going, prepare your gravy. Add the cool water, gravy mix, and onions to a small pan, and heat to boiling, while whisking. Let boil for at least a minute, then decrease the temperature and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency (I like the gravy to be slightly thick, and to cling to the back of a spoon.)
Once the tots are done, transfer them into small bowls, then add the cheese curds, and top with onion gravy.
Pairs well with Dark Star black kolsch from Bur Oak Brewing in CoMo.