Thursday, January 1, 2015

Poutine Veggie Burgers

There's no need to make a separate meal for the vegetarians in your family because these Poutine Veggie Burgers will surely please everyone.

Poutine is a delicious fast food dish of crispy fries topped with a brown gravy and cheese curds. The dish originated in Quebec in the late 50's and is now commonly found throughout Canada and is gaining popularity in the northern United States and the United Kingdom.

My daughter Eleanor enjoyed her first taste of Poutine on a recent trip to Victoria, BC at a Canadian fast food chain ironically called New York Fries. Eleanor liked the dish a lot and suggested that it would be great on top of a burger. She's right.

Because Poutine itself is plenty rich, we decided that it would be best on top of a homemade veggie burger. As to keep the whole dish vegetarian, we also decided to make the gravy with vegetable stock.

As for the fries, we cheated a bit and used frozen ones that we baked. Deep frying is a messy job and in all honesty I think the frozen ones taste just as good if not better and they're way less greasy.

Cheese curds are also known as "Squeaky Cheese" and they are soft in texture and mild in flavor. They are available at specialty cheese shops and in some large grocery stores. We found them in the cheese department of our local Fred Meyer.

Here's how to make Poutine Veggie Burgers:

First make a batch of veggie burgers. You can find the recipe here.

Vegetarian Gravy
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
additional salt and black pepper to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil. When the onion is cooked, add two cups of the vegetable stock, the lemon juice, the yogurt, the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Whisk this together and bring it to a simmer.

In a small bowl combine the remaining cup of stock and cornstarch. Whisk well to combine and add it to the simmering stock mixture, whisking constantly until the mixture comes back to a simmer and thickens. Taste the gravy and add additional salt and pepper if necessary. Keep the gravy warm until you are ready to assemble the burgers.

To assemble you'll need:
Cooked Veggie Burgers
Lightly Toasted Buns
Crispy Fries
Cheese Curds
Vegetable Gravy

Place the veggie burgers on the toasted buns. We made ours small and used slider buns.

Add a bit of gravy to the top of the veggie burger.

Top with a handful of hot crispy fries.

Add more gravy and some cheese curds.


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