Louisiana Cheese Fries with Crayfish and Gravy

In chef Kelly English's Southern twist on Canadian poutine, the fries are topped with spicy pimento cheese, andouille gravy, and crawfish, crab, or shrimp.

Louisiana Cheese Fries with Crayfish and Gravy
Photo: © Jonny Valiant
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs


Pimento Cheese

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 jalapeño

  • 1 pound white cheddar cheese (3 /4 cups shredded)

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • ½ tablespoon cilantro (chopped)

  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

Andouille Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • ½ pound andouille sausage (cut into 1/4-inch dice)

  • ¾ cup onion (finely chopped)

  • cup green bell pepper (finely chopped)

  • ½ tablespoon garlic (minced)

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup tomato (chopped)

  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock

  • ¼ cup scallion (thinly sliced)

  • Kosher salt


  • 4 cups french fries (cooked)

  • ½ pound crayfish tails, jumbo lump crabmeat or chopped shrimp (cooked and shelled)


Make the Pimento Cheese

  1. Roast the red pepper and jalapeño directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until charred all over. Transfer the red pepper and jalapeño to a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic and let cool for 15 minutes. Peel, seed and stem the red pepper and jalapeño, then cut them into 1/4-inch dice.

  2. In a large bowl, mix half of the red pepper with half of the jalapeño; reserve the rest for another use. Add the cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, lemon juice and cayenne to the bowl and mix well; season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, Make the Gravy

  1. In a medium cast-iron skillet, heat the oil. Add the andouille and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the fat is rendered and the sausage is crispy, 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until incorporated; add the tomato and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until it starts to break down, 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer; cook until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and season with salt.

Make the Poutine

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the french fries on a heatproof serving platter. Spoon the gravy all over the fries and top with the crayfish. Dollop 1 cup of the pimento cheese all over the fries; reserve the rest for another use. Bake the poutine for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The pimento cheese and andouille gravy can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Refreshing, slightly bitter German pilsner.

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