5 Star Makeover: Tail Gating with Lobster Sauce Crab Poutine with Oka Cheese

Tail what?  Tail gate was the clever theme our wonderful hosts Lazaro and Natasha settled on for this month’s 5 Star Makeover. Clever and confusing! See I am not a sports fan at all. And I am not alone because the announcement of the theme caused a lot of reaction from my fellow challenge friends. OK so I knew the word but I had no clear concept of what a tail gate party was. I am sure some Canadian sport fans have them but not nearly to the extent of our friendly Southern neighbor.

After a bit of research I understood tail gate food revolved around a grill and pot luck like dishes. Lots of junk food in general too. What could I make that would have a certain Canadian flair, even better if it could have a Québecois touch? Of course! I would make our ultimate world famous fast food: poutine! Now even if the rest of the world thinks this is our national dish…it is not. Let me say it again: poutine by no means is considered fancy.

Yet this is suppose to be a gourmet challenge. Have no fear, Chuck is here! I based my poutine on the Lobster Poutine recipe by Montreal local super star chef Chuck Hughes. This is one of the recipes Chuck prepared on Iron Chef America that helped him kick Bobby Flays’ ass (pardon my French Québecois). What can I say, French Canadian Chuck beating Bobby on Iron Chef America, it was a proud moment for Montrealers!

I made a few bold changes in Chuck’s recipe – not by choice but by obligation. I got to the grocery store pretty late and the fish monger was gone. The young kid taking over the next door deli section was trying to be helpful, resigned himself to package a lobster for me but could not find the price scan and I eventually found canned crab meat. There was also no curd cheese left when I got to the store, which is THE poutine cheese to use. I did however find some Oka Cheese which I thought would make for a good substitute. Curd cheese is kind of bland but Oka packs a punch flavor wise, I just had a hunch it would work. It really did! Please take my word on it and try the recipe, poutine is not a photogenic dish so don’t judge purely on appearance.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

On a funny note this was my first time ever do real French fries…as in deep frying. No one was hurt and nothing was damaged BUT I did manage to set the burner on fire. Half of me was trying not to laugh my head off and the other half was trying to remember how one puts out a fire in the kitchen again? Oh yeah put a lid on it or baking soda.

Ξ Lobster Sauce Crab Poutine with Oka Cheese Ξ
adapted from Chuck Hughes


  • 250 gr crab meat (original recipe 2 large lobsters, 1 ½ lbs each)
  • 4 cups of lobster base sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, dilute in water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes with skins on, washed and cut lengthwise into fries
  • 1 lb Oka cheese, cut in cubes (original recipe cheese curds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying


To make your own lobster base from scratch see my recipe here, I had some in the freezer already. If you prefer using lobster meat, cook your lobster, remove the meat and make base with the shells.

For the sauce, reduce the lobster base in half. Add a little bit of base to the cornstarch mixture the add it all to the pan and cook until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Next, whisk in butter and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Preheat oil in deep fryer to 300F (148C) and blanch the fries for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and let stand for several minutes.

Increase the temperature of the oil in the deep fryer and immerse the fries in the oil again for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Place on a tray lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Plate fries in a shallow bowl and garnish with the crab and Oka cheese . Pour the lobster sauce over top. Makes 4 servings.


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21 comments to 5 Star Makeover: Tail Gating with Lobster Sauce Crab Poutine with Oka Cheese

  • Hi Evelyne - that dish would disappear mighty quickly at a tailgate party. Awesome combination of ingredients! Great addition to the Cooking Group! LL
  • You all were such good sports - no pun intended ;) - about this month's Challenge! Sports fan or non-sports fan, poutine with crab and cheese over french fries - you hit the mark!
  • Poutine was such a good idea for the tailgate party theme! You totally took it to the next level. Sounds so scrumptious!
  • Oh yeah i remember the time I've been to Canada and most restaurants we went had poutine on the menu! I would be proud to if a chef from Seattle can beat Bobby Fay :D Crab meat and cheese, why not?! I want some.
  • Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    I love Chuck Hughes and watch Chuck's Day Off religiously...plus he's pretty damn cute and cooks my kind of comfort food. AND he's an Iron Chef! The crab and lobster base sauce makes this dish so, so decadent. I could happily tailgate with you even though we have no such activity here ;-).
  • Debi Shawcross
    Love that you brought the sport of competitive iron chef cooking into this tailgate; and with a winning dish no less! Yum
  • This sounds amazing! I think all of Canada was happy when Chuck won on Iron Chef. There's a restaurant in Ottawa that has been doing a lobster poutine for a while. I've had it, but it's SO rich--I think there is cream in the sauce. I made fries at a friend's a few years ago and put too many in the pot, causing an overflow. She freaked out and then had oil leaking from under her stove for a while. I just went home to my nice clean kitchen!
  • Ashley - Baker by Nature
    I had Poutine a few weeks ago at a Canadian girlfriends birthday bash and fell in love with it! I love the addition of crab meat - very unique... and delicious.
  • I've never heard of Poutine before, but I'll be having this instead of hot dogs and burgers! It's a interesting combination but I love everything in this food.... YUM!
  • This combination can only be fantastic! That was quite an adventure! Thanks for reminding me how to put out a fire in the kitchen (just in case... haha)
  • Liz
    I lived in Vancouver for a year, but none of my friends ever exposed me to poutine. I think I'd be willing to try your lobster version...wow!
  • 5 Star Foodie
    I would certainly love to try this poutine especially since it's with lobster sauce & crabmeat :)
  • Poutine has always been a favortie in my family and this one looks really delicois! Great dish Evelyne.
  • Yum! Poutine is an inspired choice - at this rate, I will actually want to go to a tailgate party, lol! And I am happy when a Montreal chef beats Bobby Flay ... I am happy when ANYONE beats Bobby Flay. He is an ass. (Pardon my Quebecois!)
  • Wow, this is very interesting! I've never even heard of poutine, let alone seen it made to look so delicious! Great work for this month's challenge!
  • I have yet to try poutine. The closest I have been is fries with mayo!
  • Interwebs Fails
    Delicious! I can even smell it! :P
  • This was funny, because I'm not a sports fan either and I've never been to a tailgaiting party. I have always wanted to eat poutine. Some day. Great upgrade with the lobster. And, I hope you figured out how to put out your fire. Deep fryng scares me too.
  • Ugh... I haven't had lobster in so long. And I haven't had good poutine in a while either... So hungry...
  • I am not a big fan of poutine, but your recipe sounds delicious! I have to try it but will use lobster meat instead. I saw the Iron Chef episode when Chuck Hughes won the challenge. Way to go Chuck!
  • Wow--that is definitely NOT your standard tailgate food!

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