On my recent trip home I got to eat one really good meal (my mom’s spaghetti) before I was felled with the flu. It was on the second day that I started to get sick. I figured I was getting sick because I started coughing randomly and couldn’t really taste food. Still we went out for pizza that night and ordered fried cheese curds and pizza. It was disappointing because I could only mildly taste the flavors. Then I got slammed with the flu the next day and that was all she wrote. I didn’t get to go to any of my favorite restaurants or eat any of my favorite foods, until the last day when my cousin took me to Cousins subs on the way to the airport. We got subs and fried cheese curds. It was my first real meal since the flu taken over but still I couldn’t taste much.
You will notice I started and ended my trip home with cheese curds. Fried cheese curds, or cheese curds in general, are a must when going to Wisconsin. My mom is gracious enough to send me cheese curds several times a year. She freezes them and makes my dad carry them on a flight out to LAX.
One of the annoying things about California is that cheese curds do not abound here. In fact, most people don’t know what they are and get squeamish at the name and when you try to describe the fact that the freshest ones squeak when you bit into them. Because there’s no place local that I know of that serves fried cheese curds, I decided to make them at home. #alwaysagoodidea
- 1 lb. cheese curds (if you live in a state that doesn’t believe in cheese curds you an use cubed pieces of cheese)
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. beer + more, as needed
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. table salt
- peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil (for frying)
- Heat oil to 400 degrees. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can do this in a pot using a candy/frying thermometer. Peanut oil is the best for frying. It’s also terrible for you and terribly expensive.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Add beaten egg and beer and mix until combined. The batter should have the consistency of thin pancake batter. Adjust the batter by adding more flour to get it thicker or more beer to thin it out.
- Add cheese curds to the batter and evenly coat the curds with the batter. Lift out with a slotted spoon and let the excess batter drip from the curds.
- Go ahead and make a test curd just to know what you’re getting into.
- Fry the curds for approximately 1 minute, then remove curds and drain on paper towel. Let cool slightly and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Mine is Ancho Chili Ranch.
The taste of these curds (recipe found at Fox Valley Foodie) were spot on but I found issues with keeping the cheese inside the batter. This may have been related to the fact that I had problems controlling the temperature of the oil. I don’t have a deep fryer and was using a pot and a candy/frying thermometer. Still, this recipe did the trick. I finally got to eat (and taste) the fried cheese curds I missed on my trip home this year.
Shout out to Fox Valley Foodie who may just be my foodie twin flame as it appears we both like to cook all day, eat out and go to bed early. We also consider ourselves food snobs (or something of sort).