Canadian Cooking with Reed Farrington

You people think you have the Sandra Lee thang all to yourselves, but the truth is, she’s simply one iteration of a worldwide plague; why, we even have one up here in Canuckistan!

Here is renowned “celebrity chef” (look, it’s Canada. In the US, celebrities need crowd control; in Canada, they need nametags) Reed Farrington (as portrayed by Gerry Eng), personifying the Canadian can-do spirit, combining three packaged convenience foods into one mouth-watering national classic dish: POUTINE!

Or, as he calls it, Poo-teen. I’ve never seen it eaten with chopsticks before, but hey, it’s a nice multicultural touch.

Cooking With Gerry – Episode #2: Poutine from Jay Cheel on Vimeo.

In fact, it doesn’t really matter what quality of components you use; the result always turns into a soggy, cholesterol-laden heart attack on a plate, rich in what hangover sufferers call “Vitamin G.” Here’s the recipe, for those of you who are not video-positive:

  • Make some fries. Or reheat some fries.
  • Make some gravy. Beef gravy ONLY, people; beef gravy is a food, chicken gravy is just a condiment.
  • Put some farmer’s cheese (cheese curds) over the fries, then put the gravy over the whole mess.

If this isn’t enough to clog your arteries, poutine (pronounced “p’TIN” with a contemptuous expression {as are all Quebecois words, actually}) is an essential ingredient in the Angry French Canadian Sandwich:

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12 thoughts on “Canadian Cooking with Reed Farrington

  1. Oooh, I had poutine today. It was nearly heavenly. I regret nothing!

    Ever tried extra condiments on it? I like white vinegar for a little pep. Everyone else just gives me weird looks. Ketchup is another favourite addition.

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  2. Gravy doesn’t have to be beef gravy only. Any meat gravy will do.

    Cheese curds are the cheese of choice but mild white cheddar will do in a pinch. If you DO use cheddar instead of cheese curds it should not be shredded. I would say that Julienning it would be sort of an approximation.

    It needs to be slightly melty but still have some cheesy consistency (slightly rubbery – fresh cheese curds have a squeak to them that they lose after being refrigerated and are best used the day they are made).

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  3. Listen: the quality of the components DOES matter. The fries have to be hand cut and fried twice in a good fat, like lard or preferably duck fat (not shortening–Christ), and the gravy should be rich and fresh and real. As for the cheese part, if you’re not using the freshest cheese curds (they should squeak and they do not melt into globs–that’s the tip off that the cheap stuff has been used) the poutine is just crappy old potatoes with gunk. The point of Reed Farrington is that he’s a joke character–cause poutine ain’t meant to be no savory equivalent of a Kwanzaa cake.

    And we do have a real counterpart to Sandra Lee. Granted, she doesn’t use a lot of processed food products haphazardly combined for the sake of a colour palette, but she does have a crazed look in her eye and a manic delivery that makes her look nuts. She does call the food she’s preparing “guys”, and regularly mispronounces ingredient, technique, and dish names–so if you’ve actually had the experience of ordering food from a menu in any restaurant in your life (something she seems to think we’ve all never done) you’ll have a hard time wondering what she’s talking about. Finally, she loves to talk to viewers like they are children. Curious? Google the CBC’s Kary Osmond. Ugh…Cringey.

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  4. No–Rachel Ray makes a consistent attempt to look sane as opposed to manic, and she can generally interact with adults, in comparison (although that spread she did in Maxim cooking a turkey–in a foil tray–dangerous!–in little more than an apron and mules makes you wonder). When Rachel uses cheddar cheese, she calls it “cheddar cheese”. When Kary uses cheddar cheese, she calls it “Ooey gooey cheese guys!!!!”. See the difference?

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  5. It’s all “oooey gooey” and “yummy” on Kary’s show, and she “loves (rapturously, with great big open eyes and manic speech)” every kind of ingredient and every ingredient with more than one syllable is her “favourite”. And also “Awesome!”

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