Poutine Poppers

Adapted Recipe Chef Ilona Daniel

Serves 6

6 medium russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil, for brushing and deep frying
¼ cup purpose flour, divided
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces cheese curds (see note above)

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes, and pop onto a baking sheet lined with foil to avoid messy clean up, and bake until fully cooked. Let potatoes stand until cool enough to handle, (I’m not the patient type, so I usually hold the potatoes, one at a time, with a tea towl and proceed to the next step. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the potato flesh and transfer to a bowl.

Mix potatoes with 1/4 cup flour along with the salt pepper, and onion powder. Working one at a time, shape potato mixture into 1 1/2-inch cylinders, then flatten into your palm, and place 1 or 2 cheese curds, depending on their size, in the center. Using your fingers, fold the potato around the cheese to re-form the cylinder, making sure the cheese isn't poking through in any spots. Set on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining potato and curds. Set aside, to get some dipping sauce on the go.

Sriracha & Peppercorn Ranch Dip
1 clove (to 2 Cloves) Garlic
¼ cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, and chive combo
1 cup Mayonnaise
½ cup Sour Cream
Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
Splash of Lemon Juice
Worcestershire Sauce 4-6 dashes
Up to a tbsp of Sriracha Sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and thin out the dip as necessary with the buttermilk.

Quebecoise-Style Gravy
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef stock
2 tbsp. Heinz Old Fashioned Chili Ketchup sauce
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Marmite
1⁄2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small sauce pot, make a basic roux of equal parts flour and butter (3 tbsp), once the roux is a peanut butter colour, add in the garlic, the chili sauce, the marmite, the cider vinegar, and the Worcestershire sauce, and the stock. Allow gravy to come together, and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

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