I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York.
And in our small town, we had ONE Diner.
DINER according to WIKIPEDIA:
A diner is a small fast food restaurant that is found in the Northeastern United States and Midwest, as well as in other parts of the US, Canada, and parts of Western Europe. Diners offer a wide range of foods, mostly American cuisine, and have a distinct exterior structure, a casual atmosphere, a long counter with bar stools where patrons eat their meals, and late operating hours. Diners frequently stay open 24 hours a day, especially in cities and towns with a busy bar scene or with factories with night shift workers.
Once I started driving, the Diner became the meet up place where we would all convene before going out. It was also the meeting place where we would nosh on French Fries and Gravy before going home after said night out with our friends.
French Fries and Gravy wasn’t actually just french fries and gravy. It was actually, french fries with melted mozzarella that I would order with gravy on the side. It was comfort food. It was an institution.
It was our small town answer to Canadian Poutine.
POUTINE according to WIKIPEDIA:
The different components of this dish is what makes it so wonderfully comforting. We can separate all of them and examine them individually, but without the base, the U.S. frozen potatoes, in the form of french fries, we cannot even begin.
The beauty of food technology now means we can have U.S. Potatoes in different forms. While I love fresh potatoes for many of my dishes, creating this ooey gooey, gravy dish of comfort is made SO much easier when I use frozen potatoes from the United States.
Just like there are pantry staples which I make sure are stocked on my shelves, there are also items that I always have in the freezer. French Fries, hash browns, and even mojos, have their own special shelf in our freezer and are ready to prepare for a quick snack or as a side dish to our main meals. These U.S. Potatoes sit side by side with my other frozen vegetables that can be cooked in a flash when I need items of convenience in preparing the meals for my family.
I have always said that I need items and ingredients in my kitchen to make my life easier. Frozen potatoes is one of them. It’s not just a quick fix, it’s a family favorite that provides essential nutrients as well.
DID YOU KNOW?
- One medium U.S. Potato has 6% of the daily recommended iron intake.
- U.S. Potatoes have no sodium.
- U.S. Potatoes are a good source of fiber.
- U.S. Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin B6.
- U.S. Potatoes contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity.
- U.S. Potatoes contain magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc, which promote bone strength and structure.
Seriously, I don’t think there is a dish that provides more comfort than this.
Just last week, Sabrina and I welcomed the media to Crate & Barrel in their flagship store in Makati to launch their 12 Weeks of Christmas Campaign.
Besides sharing some appetizer phyllo cups which we could vary toppings and fillings to accommodate both savory and sweet palates, we also shared a grape salad and a way to recycle holiday leftovers into a “Holiday Poutine.”
Ok. I bet the Poutine Purists are screaming right now.
As Elsa would say, “Let it go.”
Go with the flow.
And enjoy the added protein that is integrated into this dish.
But remember, when making Poutine, crispy crunchy french fries are paramount!!!
- 5 c of US frozen french fries
- canola oil for frying
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 c flour
- 2 native shallots finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 1/2 c chicken stock
- 1/2 c stout beer
- 2 tb ketchup
- 1 tb balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 c shredded turkey or chicken
- 2 c cheddar & mozzarella cheese cubes
- Cranberry Sauce
- Sauté the shallots, and then the garlic in your butter being careful not to brown.
- Add the flour and cook the flour (while whisking) until it is light brown in color.
- Add in chicken stock while whisking vigorously to avoid clumping.
- Add ketchup, worcestershire sauce, stout, and balsamic vinegar and reduce until gravy is of a thick consistency.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fry the U.S. Frozen French Fries in hot canola oil until crispy.
- When plating, start with the french fries and top with turkey, cheese cubes, cranberry sauce, and hot gravy.
But treating my family to a dish like this once in a while, when we are all gathered around the coffee table, lounging on the sofa, watching movies, certainly leaves my heart full and my tummy happy.
And Gellibean is happy with her crispy crunchy U.S. French Fries just plain.
Sometimes, these fried potatoes are just as good with a little salt.
If you would like more recipe ideas on how to use U.S. Potatoes in dishes you serve at home, check out: