A few years ago, I decided to put a waffle-y spin on different dishes from around the world. I made taco waffles, pizza waffles, curry waffles and more. My family's favorite? Poutine waffles.
Poutine is a classic Québécois comfort food made up of French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds — the solid part of curdled milk that's sometimes referred to as "squeaky cheese." I didn't grow up eating poutine, but came to know it through my husband, who has a French-Canadian background.
As soon as I tasted the savory dish, I knew that it was something magical.
This spin on poutine starts with a thin waffle made with potato batter. Waffles are a great base for the poutine gravy because of their nooks and crannies, but if you don't have a waffle maker you can make the batter into pancakes instead.
Sometimes cheese curds are hard to find in stores. I use Cheddar Bites from Bennington-based Maplebrook Farms. They don't have the "squeak" of some other cheese curds, but they're still delicious.
Try this recipe for brunch — or dinner — this month. Your stomach will say merci!
For the waffles (makes four):
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (or half an onion, finely chopped)
- 3 eggs
- Around ¼ cup flour (or more, depending on the size of your potatoes)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Montréal steak seasoning (optional)
For the gravy (makes 2 cups):
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Salt to taste
- Peel potatoes and shred in a food processor or with a cheese grater.
- Combine the rest of the waffle ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until a batter forms. If there are a few chunks, that's okay. If the batter is very thin, add a little more flour. You want it to be pourable, but not drippy.
- To make the gravy, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour, making sure to smooth any visible lumps. Continue whisking and cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to turn a light brown, about five minutes.
- Turn heat to medium-low, and slowly stir in the broth, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings, and whisk until smooth.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, which should take about five more minutes.
- Cook waffles in your waffle maker, at the highest setting, until they are nice and crispy. Top with gravy and a handful of cheese curds.