When I was in high school, I aspired to eventually become president and invade Canada. I wanted to take over their land, populate the world with penguins, and eat nothing but poutine for the rest of my life. Obviously this goal has pretty much shifted over the years, but the desire to try poutine has never left me. Poutine, as you may know, is a Canadian dish consisting of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Yup. There were two challenges, however. First: poutine is typically made with a meat gravy. Second: no one serves it here. Therefore, I had to take matters into my own hands. I came across a recipe about 5 years ago for a vegetarian poutine recipe and brushed it aside, but luckily I kept it. I tried it out tonight and it was very good! I have no idea if it is how poutine is supposed to taste, but we enjoyed it. I don't think I would make this again. I probably will just wait til we go visit our friend in Canada some day and then we'll go to the place that has vegetarian poutine near her. But this was a fun foray into Canadian cuisine!
Mr Wiggles' Vegetarian Poutine
All directions were copied off of a forum post on SomethingAwful.com circa 2006. I (Lauren) tweaked them and edited them a bit.
Queso fresco or cheddar cheese curds
4 or 5 shiitakes
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup whole wheat flour shaken into 2 or 3 cups of water
Plenty of olive oil or butter
Saute the chopped up onion in the fat until transluscent, then add garlic and sliced shiitakes. Cover and let it go for about 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, and the flour/water, and get it boiling while whisking the whole time. Once it's almost gravy consistancy, remove from heat and add the herbs. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and the consistancy will set up to where it needs to be.
Pour the gravy over the fries and top with cheese curds.