Saturday, November 8, 2014

Deep Fried Cheese Curds from California

Garlic Curds for sale
Happy cows do come from California
At the farmer's market today, one of the sellers had fresh cheese curds for sale. Having sampled these before, I knew these were high quality. I decided pick up a package and put my cooking skills to the test by crafting a Wisconsin culinary delicacy, fried cheese curds.
Deep Fried Cheese curd ingredients

Deep Fried Cheese Curds
(Adapted from: What's Cooking America)

Vegetable oil (for frying)

1 Egg (beaten)
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Beer

1 Cup Flour
1 tsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder

8 oz Cheese Curds

Garlic Cheese curds
These curds were garlic flavored

First the curds need to be separated into individual pieces. This is easy as they naturally are crumbly. As per advice from Wisconsin locals, the curds themselves need to be at room temperature prior to coating with the batter. Be careful not to eat too many curds at this stage.

Mixing wet ingredients
A Wisconsin native would use New Glarus. A Cailfornia native opts for Sierra Nevada

While the curds are warming up to room temperature, fill the saucepan with oil and preheat it to medium heat. Mix together the wet ingredients (egg, oil, beer) in a small bowl. This is also an opportunity to take some sips while cooking.

Mixing dry ingredients

Mix in the dry ingredients next. Stir to form a consistent batter.

Cheese curd Batter
The color of the beer will affect the color of the batter.

Once the curds are at room temperature, add them to the batter. Stir them around to completely coat.

Coating the curds
It is wise to only add in the large pieces of curd

Curd batter
Ready to go!

Once coated, use a utensil (a fork is good for this) to drop in a few pieces of curd into the oil. A wire strainer can help with removing excess batter from the curd prior to adding to the oil. Cook until golden brown. It'll only take 1 minute or less for them to fully cook.

Frying curd
If they come out this brown, turn the heat down a little bit.

Use a fork or tongs to remove the fried curd and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

Congratulations, you now have Wisconsin in your kitchen!

That's all that is to it. As the curd I used was garlic flavored, mine came out tasting like cheesy garlic. If you ever get your hands on some delicious curd, give this recipe a try (assuming you don't eat all the curds beforehand). I'm glad that California dairies are capable of making quality* cheese curds that can be enjoyed fresh.

*Curd is meant to be enjoyed fresh; waiting too long to make these after purchasing will affect the quality and squeakiness of the curd.

Absolutely perfect.

Stretchy cheese curd
Cheesy Delicious

Curd interior

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