Introduction: Beer-Battered Cheese Curds
Now unless you are a Wisconsinite, there's a pretty good chance you don't even know what cheese curds are. Well, you unfortunate soul, a cheese curd is pretty much a smallish chunk of cheese. They can be eaten plain, flavored with things like taco spice, or my personal favorite: fried. Let's get started!
Step 1: Prep and Batter
Before you make the batter, start heating about a 3/4 inch of oil in a cast iron pan (the curds would probably be even better if deep-fried, but shallower frying works pretty well and is more convenient.)
For the batter, I adapted a recipe from online: mix together 1 c. of flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a largeish bowl. Once combined, add 1 c. of beer (I like using IPA, my dad prefers wheat). Try not to over-mix the batter, a few lumps is okay.
Also, if your curds are on the large side, coarsely chop them (if you couldn't find cheese curds, I suspect you could use pieces of string cheese).
Step 2: Fry Time
When the oil is 350 degrees F, start the first batch. Try to tap off little of the excess batter before you add them to the hot oil, and watch out for flying oil droplets. Poke the curds a bit with a Chinese spider, slotted spoon, or giant fork, so they don't stick. Fry until a light golden (I didn't time them, but I would suggest you tend them the entire time as they cook fast). If they start to ooze cheese, take them out immediately and try to bring the oil temperature up.
Dump the hot curds onto a platter with parchment paper. Do not try to drain them on towels, as this will lead to sticking (at this point, I usually salt them a bit, but it's totally optional).
Step 3: Dig In!
At this point, you are confronted with the decision to dip or not dip. If you feel inclined to have a sauce, you could use marinara, ketchup, ranch dressing, or barbecue sauce (my mom sometimes uses fruit syrup, make of that what you will). Otherwise, be sure to eat these hot and to share some with friends and family!
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