fried cheese curdsMove over fried mozzarella sticks, there’s a new kid in town!  Fried cheese curds are the bee’s knees!  What are cheese curds, you ask?  When cheese is made milk is pasteurized and cooked until the whey separates from the curd. The curd goes into a mold and pressed to create a wheel or block of cheese.  The curds that don’t make it into the mold are cheese curds. Cheese curds are mild and have a cheddar-like flavor.  If you are lucky enough to buy fresh, they’ll squeak when you bite into them.  They have a similar texture to that of halloumi cheese.

In Canada, we use cheese curds in a french fry dish called poutine.  Poutine originated in Quebec in the 1950s and is loved all over the country.  Who doesn’t like french fries smothered in gravy topped with cheese curds? If you’re looking for a cheesy snack, you gotta try fried cheese curds!

you will need

500g (1 lb.) cheese curds
vegetable oil for frying

batter

1 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
club soda or plain water

method

Break apart any big chunks of cheese curds; you want them to be bite-sized.  Let them sit at room temperature until they begin to sweat.  Lightly coat in flour (use a plastic bag) and shake off any excess flour. For the batter, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.  Add enough water to create batter to be the thickness of heavy cream.

Heat oil to 350f (180c).  If not using a deep fryer, place oil in a pot with at least 3-inches of oil and use a candy thermometer.

Coat cheese curds in the batter.  Cook until golden brown about 1 minute.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a tray lined with paper towel.  Serve with your favourite dipping sauce or gravy.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  You can add an egg to the batter for a more authentic tempura-style batter.  Enjoy!

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