Cheddar Cheese Curds with Roasted Tomato Coulis
By Chef Govind Armstrong
1 ounce fresh oregano sprigs (1/2 bunch)
1 ounce fresh thyme sprigs (1/2 bunch) plus 1 tablespoon chopped
1 ounce fresh cilantro sprigs (1/2 bunch)
1/2 ounce fresh parsley sprigs
8 medium tomatoes, cored
1 head garlic, split
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, well beaten
1 pound cheese curds, 1 to 1 1/2 inch
Vegetable oil for deep frying
To Complete the Recipe:
1 cup fresh parsley sprigs
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the coulis, soak the sprigs of herbs in cold water 20 minutes. Prepare
the grill. Drizzle the tomatoes and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Make a circular bed of the herbs on the grill. Arrange the tomatoes and
garlic in a pyramid on top of the herbs. Invert a large bowl, or cover with
large piece of foil to seal in the heat. Grill 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes
are roasted and slightly charred, and the garlic is just softening. Remove
from the grill.
Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a saucepan. Add the
tomatoes and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Simmer for 15 minutes,
removing the tomato skin that rises to top. Pass the mixture through a food
mill or process in a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in an ice bath to cool.
For the curds, combine the breadcrumbs, cornstarch, cayenne, and 1
tablespoon chopped thyme in the food processor. Process until the
breadcrumbs are finely ground. Place in a pie plate. Pour the beaten eggs
into another pie plate and the flour in a third pie plate. Dredge the cheese
curds in the flour, then the egg, and finally the bread crumb mixture. Place
the cheese curds on a baking sheet, and set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Heat 3 inches oil to 365° to 375°F. Fry the parsley leaves until crisp; drain
on paper towels. Fry the cheese curds in batches until crisp and warmed all
the way through. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon the crisp curds onto the fried parsley. Top with the coulis.
Vodka-Battered Cheese Curds
By Chef Tory Miller
Servings: 16 2-ounce curds
1/4 to 1/3 cup Spanish smoked paprika, to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups rice flour, divided
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup (125 ml) vodka
2 1/2 cups club soda
2 cups buttermilk
1 quart peanut oil
2 pounds Wisconsin Cheese Curds
In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup rice flour. In
another large bowl, mix vodka, club soda and buttermilk; stir into dry
ingredients. Add enough additional club soda to make thin, pancake-like
Heat oil in medium saucepan or deep fryer to 350°F. Toss cheese curds
in reserved 1/2 cup rice flour. In batches, dip curds in vodka batter. Add
to oil one at a time. Do not crowd, frying a few at a time. Fry until batter
is browned and crisp and cheese is melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain.
Serve immediately. The chef serves with a house ranch dip on the side.