Spring Vegetarian Poutine with Fresh Spring Peas, Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Dill Béchamel
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup fresh-shucked spring peas
- 3/4 cup black trumpet mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 2 cups French fries
- 1/2 cup house-made cheese curds
House-made Cheese Curds
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Heat 5 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth and the mixture turns a light, golden-sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Heat the milk just about to a boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, sitrring contantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and dill, and set aside until ready to use.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. While waiting for water to boil, fill a medium bowl with ice water. When the water is boiling, drop peas in the water for 30 seconds and then strain them over a sink. After straining, immediately plunge peas into the ice water.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to sauté pan over low heat, until it melts and coats bottom of pan. Toss in mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms lose some of their moisture and start to barely crisp up. Add peas and toss for 1 minutes until warmed. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, toss fries in a large kitchen bowl with salt. Then plate in a large bowl and top with house-made cheese curds, peas, mushrooms and béchamel.
- Peel potatoes and cut on a fry press, then soak in water overnight. This draws out the starch from the potato to cover the outside of the fry, which results in a nice, crispy fry.
- The next day, dry the fries, deep fry at a low temperature (around 275 degrees F) for about 7 minutes, then lay them out on a baking rack to dry/cool. When poutine is ordered drop fries back in the deep fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.
House-made Cheese Curds
- Place milk in a large stockpot. Over medium heat, warm milk to 180 degrees F, or just below boiling.
- Slowly mix in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, while stirring.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 20 minutes; the curds and whey should separate.
- Scoop out curds and place in strainer, or cheesecloth stretched over a large bowl, until the whey drains off and only curds remain.