Some days, things just fall into place.
This week, a coworker and I headed to the Lincoln Square Farmers’ Market before beginning our day at The Chopping Block. We soon found ourselves captivated by a vendor with the most unique assortment of cheeses I have seen in a while including a cheddar blue cheese that was pretty fantastic. After sampling several, I settled on some smoked Gouda and fresh curds.
A few hours later, I was reminded of a new recipe one of our chefs had recently created for tempura-fried cheese curds. I knew right then that I had the perfect snack to share with some lucky members of my team. I quickly gathered the ingredients needed for both the tempura batter and the accompanying ranch dipping sauce – including some fresh chives grown on our back patio by one of my green-thumbed coworkers!
The set-up was pretty simple. Here you can see the curds, some flour for dredging, and the tempura batter.
On the stove, you can see that I have a wire rack set on a cooking sheet. This was an awesome way to cool the freshly fried curds; it allowed any excess oil to drip off, leaving the curds crispy and light.
It’s important to ensure your oil is hot enough before attempting to deep fry – a candy or deep-fry thermometer was the most essential tool I had in this culinary adventure!
This wire spider was another nifty tool – the large openings let me scoop out the curds, leaving the oil in the pot for the next batch.
This was my first attempt at deep frying cheese curds, and I learned two valuable lessons:
- If you drop three or four curds into the oil together, they will immediately clump together. Dropping them one by one was the best way to end up with individually fried curds.
- Frying in batches requires patience. Once your first batch hits the oil, it significantly lowers the temperature. After cooking one batch, it’s important to let the oil return to the desired temperature. If you don’t, your next batch will take longer to cook and will come out of the oil soggy.
Interested in finding out what you can do with goodies from a Farmers’ Market? Join us for our Lincoln Square Farmers’ Market Tour and Cooking Class next Thursday.