Ok ok... this is probably not how I should preface this little bit of tasty goodness. The truth is that eating broccoli doesn't always cut it. There are times when you need something unapologetically fatty or salty or sweet to satisfy that craving in your belly.
That said, I think that this is a slightly more virtuous version of one of my favourite stress-day indulgences... the glorious poutine. The fries are the baked fries from a few months ago... you can find those wonderfully squeeky cheese curds in any decent cheese market or deli section... and the gravy, while not laboured over while cooking a meaty chunk of something, is a step above a powdered version. Considering all of that, I will sit proudly, fork in hand, and enjoy every morsel of this satisfying treat.
Quick -I didn't cook any meat- Gravy
1L carton of beef, chicken or veggie stock
1 pat of butter (maybe a teaspoon... optional)
1/2 cup of milk or cream
2 tablespoons of flour
Dump your carton of stock into a saucepan and bring it up to a simmer. I like to melt that little pat of butter into the stock to add a bit of that buttery goodness that you would have gotten from basting your chicken or veg or chunk of beef.
Make a thickening slurry by whisking (with a fork or whisk) the flour into the milk. Then mix this into your stock. Now, simmer and let bubble away... stirring every so often to ensure that there are no lumps or skins on the surface.
Reduce and thicken until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. I started the gravy at the same time that I put the fries into the oven. By the time that the fries were done (about 45 minutes), the gravy was also ready!
For your poutine, layer your fries, then cheese, then the hot gravy into a bowl or on a plate.
Add ketchup... if you're so inclined. Otherwise, scoop, slurp and devour this slightly less sinful version of poutine.