We've all heard about the fusions in the foodie world lately. There are familiar places that serve Mexican American cuisine or Asian Fusion, and there are odd couplings like Italian-Korean, Mexican-Chinese, or Japanese-French food. Fusion cuisines have been around since the 70s, and recently, food trucks are the ones embracing it most often. Here at the Church of Poutine, we have dabbled in a bit of poutine fusions, but none like this one. We created a Sushi Poutine.
The Church of Poutine family has an annual tradition for Thanksgiving. As chefs, we always work on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, birthdays, New Years - you get it. We don't get holidays off. We skip the turkey, stuffing, pie and potatoes. We don't eat the cranberry sauce, take a nap, and then snack on some ham. We have a Japanese inspired Thanksgiving meal. When our schedules match up perfectly, we get dressed up and head to my favorite place of all time : Uchi. We dine on some of the best food every created, so thoughtful and creative. We use our chopsticks as walrus teeth, embarrass each other, and anticipate each new dish the chef is preparing for us.
This year was just a bit different though, as we decided to bring our annual Thanksgiving "fusion" to our own home. We rolled our own sushi, and served up dim sum, scallion pancakes, fried spring rolls, roasted brussels sprouts, shishito peppers, and some creative sauces and condiments. This was the first year we went all out, instead of going out, and it was a huge hit. Our family and friends get together inspired this new poutine. The Sushi Poutine. Handcut and twice fried french fries & Wisconsin cheese curds, wrapped in sweet and vinegary sushi rice and hand rolled in nori. Served alongside a shitake mushroom and ginger-soy gravy. It may not be authentic, but this dish perfectly describes the fusion of our family.
Pancake mix is a beautifully versatile ingredient that can be utilized in many different recipes that aren’t pancakes at all. At its most basic, pancake mix is really just a mixture of flour and baking powder, with various flavors thrown in at the discretion of the manufacturer. Kerbey Lane’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix is no exception. Although this mix produces some truly delightful pancakes, we wanted to demonstrate an alternative recipe with alternative techniques to showcase the versatility of Kerbey Lane’s product.
So, how did we go from pancakes to chicken pot pie? Well, it all started when we thought that buttermilk biscuits would be a nifty thing to try out. However, while buttermilk biscuits will always have a very special place in our hearts, they’re a bit plain for the purposes of this contest. So, we took the biscuit dough recipe that we had worked out and, after a few tweaks, came out with a properly delicious savory pie crust. Combining this new crust recipe with a big heap of recently BBQ’d chicken that we cooked the day before, it seemed only natural to give a chicken pot pie a shot.
We begin by mixing our dough much in the same way as if you were making biscuits. We take some Buttermilk Pancake Mix, work in a hunk of butter until fully incorporated into delicious little buttery flakes, then adding some salt, fresh herbs, and milk. You’ll want to knead the dough mixture pretty thoroughly to develop the necessary gluten that will hold the crust’s shape when assembling. When you’ve got a nice evenly mixed and kneaded ball of “biscuit” dough, toss it in so that it can stay cool while the gluten relaxes a bit.
And now, we move on to the filling. This part of the dish is fairly straightforward. We begin by sauteing the corn, peas, carrot, onion and garlic with a small tab of butter, just until they begin to turn soft. Once cooked, you’ll want to remove the vegetable mix from the pan and set them aside. Then, we start the roux by adding a big 4 tablespoon heap of butter, stirring it in until it’s melted down. Once melted, we add the 4 tablespoons of flour bit by bit, ensuring proper mixing and preventing any pesky clumps from forming in our roux. Once the flour and butter have been whisked into a smooth paste, cook the roux until a lovely golden brown color and a nice nutty aroma are achieved.
Once our roux is finished, we’ll start adding all of our other ingredients back into the pan. Take those vegetables that you set aside and stir them in. Then, add your 2 cups of cooked chicken along with your freshly chopped herbs and crushed red pepper. When all of the solid ingredients have been added to the pan, slowly pour the 1 ½ cups of chicken broth into the pan, stirring as you go. Bring the filling up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking the mixture down to your desired thickness. We like it to have the consistency of vegetables floating in a nice, thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside to cool.
Now that all of the components are ready to assemble, we’ll get to rolling out the crust. Take the ball of dough that’s been chilling in the refrigerator, and cut it into two pieces, one being larger than the other. Think ⅓ and ⅔ sized pieces. Set the smaller piece aside, and begin rolling the larger side into a round disk, about a quarter of an inch thick. This will be our bottom crust. Carefully peel the disk up from the surface and place into the lightly oiled pan of your choice. We went with a 10 inch cast iron pan for the rustic look and feel, but any pie pan of similar size will do. Trim the edges to fit, and use a fork to poke a series of holes into the dough. Put the pan back in the refrigerator while we turn our attention back to the top crust. This one is a little bit trickier, because there’s less overall product to work with. But, be patient and take your time to roll this piece into a round disk, with the same thickness as the bottom crust. If you mess it up, just put the dough back into the cooler to relax, and try again.
Once the dough has been rolled out, it’s time to begin the overall assembly. Take the bottom crust in the pie pan, and add the cooled filling, spreading evenly throughout the entire pan. The, gingerly place the upper crust of the pie on top of the whole thing, and use a fork to crimp the edges closed. Use a small knife to trim any excess off. This extra dough can be thrown away, or used for silly little embellishments like we did, if you’re feeling fancy. When the whole pie is completely assembled, take 1 beaten egg and a pastry brush and coat the top of the pie with a nice, thin egg wash. This wash will give the upper crust a beautiful sheen and crispiness. Using the same small knife as before, cut a series of small slits in the upper crust to allow gasses and water vapor to escape easily, so your pie doesn’t explode while you cook it. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a golden brown upper crust is formed. When it’s finished cooking, let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Step By Step:
Ok so, full disclosure, we've been a little bit light on content lately. I'd love to say that it's because we've been working on something wild and crazy, but the simple truth is that we've just let it get away from us a bit. We apologize for the slow trickle of posts, and we promise to try and get it together.
Anywho, now that we have that little bit of unpleasantness behind us, let's get down to business. We recently entered a contest hosted by Kerbey Lane. We received a few boxes of their new pancake mix, and were tasked with creating nifty and creative recipes with it. We have yet to hear anything about the contest's results, so we decided to go ahead and share this delicious recipe ahead of time, because you deserve it.
You know what tastes great? Anything on a stick. Think about it :
Popsicles & lollipops? Yes.
Cake Pops? Yes.
Frozen bananas, dipped in chocolate? Yes.
Pretty much any appetizer? Yes.
You can really take any food, whatsoever, call it a shish kebob, and you've got a winner.
I am not a native Texan. Although I have spent more years here than not, I can’t honestly claim to be entirely steeped in the culture of the Lone Star State. And, while I’m not crazy about everything that Texas has to offer, culturally speaking, I have found lots of things that this state does right. And in the center of it all, both physically and metaphorically, lies central Texas style BBQ.
There's two kinds of tacos. The authentic taco, and the posh taco. The authentic taco, found in Mexico, is a soft corn tortilla, with spiced meat, onion & cilantro, with lime slices on the side. Anything else is a posh taco. Americans have Taco Bell! That is a trash taco. So what is this? A poutine taco? It's certainly not authentic, as it breaks all the rules of a traditional Mexican taco, but it is fun and delicious, and sometimes that is just as important.
How do you make an egg roll?
You push it!
Sometimes, we like to think outside the box. Like waaaaaayyy outside, where we are nowhere near a box, but more a wrapper that we fill & then deep fry. Introducing the Poutine Egg Roll.
Fermented food seems to be quite en vogue these days. People are pickling anything they can get their hands on. And why not? There are both nutritional and flavor benefits alike. We even have a pickling section on this blog! But the purpose of this post is to show off these beautiful kimchi fries, not to discuss the finer points of lacto-fermentation.
Did you know that the condiment market is the second largest in specialty foods behind that of cheese? Did you know that it's valued at $7 billion in sales a year? Or did you know that mayonnaise is the number one condiment in the US, topping sales at $2 billion a year? That's $2,000,000,000 in mayonnaise sales. MAYONNAISE.
Goshhhhhh!!! The Church of Poutine loves potatoes. We aren't partial to one kind; we spread the love for potatoes as far as we can. French fries, mashed potatoes, potato chips, scalloped potatoes, potato soup, potato pancakes, baked potatoes, and of course, Tater Tots.