Valentine’s Day is a polarizing event – you either love it or you hate it.
If you’re single, it amounts to either opportunity for romantic success or an amplified let-down. For couples, it usually boils down to either a great night or a great argument.
Our social media feeds explode into an amalgam of heart-shaped food pictures and cheesy ecards as onlookers either gag or gush in response. Valentine’s Day is double-edged sword but if you’re lucky enough to be a cook, chances are you look forward to Feb. 14 as your time to shine and impress that special someone.
A couple of years ago Valentine’s Day for my then-fiancée was a bland ordeal. She didn’t like flowers or heart-shaped chocolates – she didn’t like Valentine’s Day, period.
I felt a little disheartened. I had planned on organizing a scavenger hunt around the town involving clues that would ultimately lead her to our friend’s house for a candlelit Italian dinner. But she assured me that she would have no part of any Valentine’s Day shenanigans and advised me not to waste my time trying.
Being a man, I didn’t listen.
I now had to come up with something sweet, creative and subtle to “wow” my fiancée while not triggering her anti-Valentine’s Day mode.
After some careful thought and admittedly, a little Googling, I settled on a romantic dinner at home. She was a poutine lover, and with this cornerstone in mind I planned on preparing the following meal for her that night:
Cheesy Cheeseburger Poutine
- 4 large potatoes
½ block mozzarella cheese, ½ inch cubes
1 tbsp savoury
½ pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- ½ tsp gravy browning
- In a large pan, add small amount of olive oil and heat to medium high.
- Add ground beef, onion and salt to pan and sauté, reduce heat to minimum. Gradually whisk in flour and breadcrumbs until it forms meaty gravy. Cover. Peel and cut potatoes into fry sizes and deep fry on high for approx. 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Plate fries, top with cheeses, toppings and gravy.
- Sprinkle on savoury and pepper.
- Makes two to three servings.
Unfortunately for me, I was called into work that morning and had to scrap all Valentine’s Day plans altogether.
I returned home with a bucket of fried chicken.
While I was robbed of the chance to selfishly show off how sweet I can be, I had managed to achieve a great Valentine’s Day simply by keeping things simple. Albeit by accident.
Happy Valentine’s Day!