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BRUNCH LIFE: Benny Poutine

We thought it would be fun to made a brunch Benny poutine, substituting hollandaise and runny eggs yolks for the gravy and ensuring the fries were more thick wedges, and of course we had to make sure the cheese curds were legit. Full recipe below.

Thick-Cut French Fries

5 skin-on russet potatoes, washed

8 cups (2 L) canola oil

¼ cup (60 ml) cornstarch

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt

For Serving

½ cup (125 ml) white vinegar

4 large eggs

8 ounces (225 g) cheese curds

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped chives, for garnish

1 batch Hollandaise Sauce

8 large eggs yolks

2 tbsps (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 tsps (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce

4 dashes hot sauce (like Tobasco)

1 tsp (5 ml) white vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

Hollandaaaaaise (sung like Madonna)

Fill a saucepan one-third of the way with water and bring it to a simmer. Find a heatproof bowl big enough to rest on the rim of your pot without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Off the heat, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice in the bowl until the mixture doubles in size. Place the bowl over the simmering water and drizzle in the melted butter while continuously whisking. Add the butter slowly at first – if you add it too quickly, your sauce may break. Once the sauce starts to thicken, you can add the butter a little faster. Continue whisking until the hollandaise is smooth and thickened. Remove the bowl from the pot and whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, and salt. If your sauce becomes too thick, add a squeeze more lemon juice to loosen it up. Leave the bowl near the warm surface of the stove but not directly on heat.

Thick-Cut Fries meet all the best things

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thich fries (almost like wedges!) and place them in a large pot. Cover them with cold water, bring to a boil, and blanch for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are blanching, in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350F (180C).

Drain the potatoes and immediately submerge them in an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain the potatoes again, lay them out on a baking sheet, and pat dry. Place the dried potatoes in a large bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to coat. Working in batches, carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil and fry for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. During the last 2 minutes of frying, add the rosemary sprigs to the pot. Remove the potatoes and rosemary from the oil and drain them of excess oil on paper towel. Place them in a large bowl and crumble the fried rosemary over the potatoes, add the salt, and toss well.

While the potatoes are frying, bring a wide, shallow pot of water to a slow, rolling boil and add the vinegar. Crack the eggs into the water and poach them for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the poached eggs one by one from the water and place them in a bowl of room-temperature water. Check the doneness of your eggs by gently poking them with your finger. If they feel too soft, return them to the boiling water to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, then again lift them into the bowl of water. Lift the poached eggs from the room-temperature water with a slotted spoon and place them gently on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

To assemble, arrange the thick-cut French fries on a platter and top with the cheese curds, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chives and serve family-style for sharing.


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Matt Basile



Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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