Yes, it’s totally acceptable to eat French fries for breakfast—especially when they’re twice-cooked in oil for a crisper bite, then topped with fresh seafood. Chef Ari Taymor of Hollywood’s Alma at The Standard offers this riff on a traditional Canadian poutine by adding a pile of sweet and tender Dungeness crab to the mix when it’s in season—but you can use whatever crab is in season where you live. “I always love ordering a giant seafood tower and a few baskets of french fries. So this was my way to have both together,” says Taymor. Look for live, fresh crabs at your local fish market—we promise, it’s easy to cook and clean Dungeness crab at home. Pair this poutine with a fork, a few friends, and a bottle of Champagne because you’re fancy like that.
Note: The French fries need to be prepped at least a day ahead.
For the french fries
3 Kennebec potatoes, cut into french fries
For the crab and gravy
1 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 dungeness crabs
4 onions, quartered
3 tablespoons to ¼ cup cornstarch
1 head fennel, quartered
Splash of white wine
For the hollandaise
1 cup smoked clarified butter
1 whole egg plus 2 yolks
How to Make It
Fry the potatoes. Heat a fryer (or pot of oil) to 325°F. Add french fries and cook until they are about 75 percent done. This will depend on thickness. Remove from oil, strain and freeze.
Cook the crab. Steam the crabs for about 10 minutes. Remove, pick the meat and reserve in fridge. Using a mallet or rolling pin, crack the crab shells into smaller pieces.
Heat a large pot and add a little grapeseed oil. Once it’s hot, add the crab and sear until it becomes bright red, add the white wine and cook until almost reduced. Add the onions and fennel and cook until they begin to char on the outside. Cover with water and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain out the solids and reduce the crab stock by half to two-thirds. Add some hot stock to the cornstarch to make a slurry, then add slurry to the gravy little by little until desired thickness is reached.
Make the Hollandaise sauce. Heat the clarified butter until it’s hot to the touch. In a blender, add the yolks and lemon juice. In a thin steady stream, add the hot butter with the motor running slowly increasing the speed to medium until mixture becomes thick and emulsified. Season with lemon juice and salt. Thin as needed with water.
To assemble. Heat oil (or fryer) to 375°F. Fry french fries straight from freezer until crispy and finished, strain on paper towels and season with salt. While french fries are cooking, heat the gravy up and add the crab meat, adjusting seasoning as needed.
Place french fries into a bowl, spoon over the crab gravy and a few dollops of Hollandaise. Serve immediately garnished with fennel fronds.