Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Poutine with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

Last weekend seemed a little incomplete without a Packer game and its requisite Packer snack. This Sunday I'll be watching the game with some family and a Thanksgiving spread I'm preparing, but if you're watching the game sans feast, I can think of nothing better to recommend that this over-the-top poutine. If I'm given the option between potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes win out virtually every time. And although they're not the traditional choice for poutine, they bring all the crispiness of regular fries, but with an added sweetness and depth of flavor that plays perfectly off of the salty cheese curds and smoky bacon. If that isn't already enough, caramelized onions add an extra layer of flavor that infuses eat bite with pure savoriness. The crispy fry and bacon bookends perfectly contain the squeaky, spongy curds and tender caramelized onions for a delightful variety of textures in each bite. An unabashedly decadent dish, this is a soul-satisfying treat nobody can resist and the perfect companion to an afternoon of football.

Sweet Potato Poutine with Bacon and Caramelized Onions
gravy recipe adapted from The Food Network
serves 2

1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 ounces frozen sweet potato fries
4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces)
1 small onion, sliced
4 ounces fresh cheese curds, at room temperature or slightly warm

1. Make the gravy: Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and beef stock, ketchup, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and make a roux, stirring until slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the stock mixture into the roux and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and keep warm.

3. While the gravy is simmering bake the fries according to package directions. Shortly before the fries are ready to come out of the oven, strain the gravy.

4. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, leaving 1 to 2 tablespoons bacon grease in the pan. Once bacon is cool, crumble into small pieces. Add onions to hot bacon grease and cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft and caramelized, about 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Split fries between two plates, topping each with half of the onions, cheese curds and bacon. Pour the hot gravy over the top and serve promptly.

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