Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Waffling Leftovers: Poutine

Yup, another installment of Waffling Leftovers, my neverending quest to put random leftovers into a waffle iron, and see what happens (you can read all about my previous adventures here!)
Poutine: Waffled!
Today's big question: Leftover Poutine - Will it waffle?  The answer: yup, but ... read on for more ... subtleties.

The Original

As always, I like to show you the transformation, starting for the original dish in all its glory.
The Original: Poutine!
The original was a big plate of poutine: skin-on fries, topped with fresh local cheese curds, smothered in duck fat gravy, with plentiful large chunks of crispy maple peppered bacon from Worthy Kitchen.  It was glorious.

It was probably the best poutine I've ever had, which was surprising to me given that it came from a little place in Vermont.  But, they really did it well (definitely beating The Crazy Canuck in Waterloo and Queen City Kitchen in Buffalo)
Leftovers: Cold Poutine.
I wasn't entirely sure it was worth keeping the leftovers, but, I was beyond stuffed and couldn't bring myself to throw out something so delicious.

I first tried a bite cold mostly out of curiosity, honestly expecting it to be absolutely horrible.  I was surprised by just how delicious it was.  The fries, while cold and soggy, were so flavorful from the gravy, and really just transformed into something different.  The cold cheese curds were slightly squeaky in a good way, and the crispy bacon, swoon, was still delicious.  Honestly, if I didn't have this blog, I probably would have just devoured them cold and been quite satisfied.

But I was curious what would happen when I waffled it.  How could I not try it?

Waffling

I dumped the solid chunk of poutine straight into the waffle iron, 350 degrees, pressed down, and let it go.
Midway Through ...
And then I checked on it, and my heart sank.

Why would I think this would work?  I've waffled mac and cheese enough times by now to know that it doesn't work very well if you just put it in without crusting it, as the cheese all runs out.  My poutine appeared no different.  Runny cheese everywhere, fries and bacon half stuck together clinging to the lid.  Ooops.
Looking Better ...
I had no choice but to close the lid and let it cook further, hoping that as the cheese cooked more it would solidify and crisp up.

Which, it did, but very quickly started running the risk of becoming burnt.  Still, in order to extract it, I needed to let it go longer.
Waffled Poutine.
The final result was a bit of a mixed bag.

At one level, it was a success: it formed a waffle, and I extracted it with no problem whatsoever.  On the other, I didn't like it, and greatly preferred the cold version.

The area where the cheese all ran out just became crispy fried cheese, basically like a frico, a bit too burnt.  I didn't like it, but amusingly, my parents both did.

The fries were ok, still fairly moist, but the gravy flavor was lost with all the cheese infusion.  The bites of bacon were still delicious.

If I wanted to make a "waffle" out of these components I think I do have a recipe that would work well: make crust layers with bacon, stuff inside with fries (and maybe cheese? But I think I'd leave that out), and then drizzle it with gravy after it is cooked.  Clearly not what to do with already assembled poutine leftovers, but, if I had leftovers fries, bacon, and gravy, it seems like a reasonable idea.

So yes, it waffled, but next time I just want my cold poutine.
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