Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beer Batter Fried Cheddar Cheese Curds with Cilantro Chutney Dip and Fry Sauce








     Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds!
     Fried Cheese Curds are a popular bar snack and county fair street vender food in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada.  Just about anyplace that cheese is made, cheese curds are eaten as snacks.  Cheese Curds are best when they are very fresh.  Fresh Cheese Curds squeak when they rub against the teeth, so they often are called "squeaks" instead of Cheese Curds.
     White Cheddar Curds or Orange Cheddar Curds are the most popular for making Fried Cheese Curd snacks.  The Cheese Curds can be breaded or battered.  Breaded Fried Cheese Curds are traditional, but this frying method presents problems.  Breaded Fried Cheese Curds often turn out greasy.  This is because the cheese curds melt quickly, so the frying time is cut short and the frying oil saturates the breading.  One solution is to freeze the Breaded Cheese Curds before frying, so the frying time can be extended.  
     Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds also may suffer from a reduced frying time, because the curds quickly melt and the cheese can leak out.  The plus side about batter frying, is that the consistency of the batter can be adjusted to suit a shorter frying time.  Another plus is that Beer Batter tastes great with Cheddar Cheese Curds! 
     The fried cheese curds in the photo examples above turned out perfect!  The batter was golden and crispy.  No cheese leaked out of the batter.  These are the two goals to keep in mind when batter frying Cheese Curds.  

     Cilantro Chutney Mayonnaise:
     This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.
     Jars of pre-made cilantro chutney can be found at Indian food markets.  
     Cilantro Chutney is also easy to make.  Cilantro Chutney is a puree of garlic, ginger, cilantro, vinegar and sugar.  A jar of pre-made Cilantro Chutney costs much less than making it from scratch and the quality is high.  
     Place 1/4 cup of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cilantro chutney.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill until the sauce is needed.

     Fry Sauce:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1/4 cup.  
     Fry sauce is also called Utah Sauce.  
     Place 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of organic ketchup.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the Habanero Utah Sauce in a ramekin and refrigerate till it is needed.

     Beer Batter:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 to 3 appetizer portions of cheese curds.
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of domestic lager beer in a mixing bowl.
     Add just enough flour while whisking, to make a thin batter.  The beer batter should have a thin pancake batter consistency.
     Step 2:  Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
     Whisk the ingredients together.
     Chill the batter till it is needed.

     Beer Batter Fried Cheddar Cheese Curds:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Heat 6"of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Sort out the larger Cheddar Cheese Curds and save the small curds for another recipe.  (Small curds are good for making Canadian Poutine.)
     About 3/4 cup to 1 cup of large Cheddar Cheese Curds is a good appetizer portion.
     Step 2:  Dredge the cheese curds in flour.
     Dip the cheese curds in the beer batter.
     Step 3:  Place a few battered cheese curds in the pot of hot oil at a time, so they do not stick together.
     *It is best to fry only a few cheese curds at a time.  This way, less steam is produced and less foaming occurs.  Be sure that the cheese curds are completely covered with batter.
     After 20 seconds, get the fryer net handy.  Keep an eye on the cheese curds.  When the batter becomes crisp and the very first sign of leakage can be noticed, use the fryer net to scoop the cheese curds out of the oil.
     Step 4:  Use the fryer net to place the batter fried cheese curds on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil. 
     Keep frying cheese curds in small batches, till they are all cooked.
   
     Beer Batter Fried Cheddar Cheese Curds with Cilantro Chutney Dip and Fry Sauce:
     Mound the Beer Batter Fried Cheddar Cheese Curds on a parchment paper lined plate. 
     Place small ramekins of Cilantro Chutney Mayonnaise and Fry Sauce on the plate.
     No garnish is necessary!

     The two dipping sauces taste great with cheddar cheese curds.  It does take practice to do perfection batter frying.  After a while, frying beer batter cheddar cheese curds is easy to do!  

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