Fried Cheese Curds
They're like little mini mozzarella sticks.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour and 30 minutes
for the tomato sauce:
3 tablespoons|45 ml olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pint|311 grams cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup|125 ml red wine
4 cups|1 liter tomato purée
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili flakes
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheese curds:
2 cups|300 grams all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups|270 grams Italian breadcrumbs
2 pounds|900 grams cheese curds
canola oil, for frying
1. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add the salt, garlic powder, and tomatoes. Cook until broke down, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half, 5 minutes. Add in the tomato purée, oregano, chili flakes, and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thick, about 35 minutes. Keep warm.
2. Fry the cheese curds: Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Working with a few curds at a time, toss the curds in the flour, then in the eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs, taking care to insure the curds are completely breaded. Transfer the curds to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cheese curds.
3. Meanwhile, heat 2-inches canola oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F. Working in batches, fry the cheese curds until golden, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheese curds to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Transfer the cheese curds to a serving platter and serve with some tomato sauce on the side for dipping.