Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds + Harissa Ranch Dipping Sauce

Happy Tuesday!  Hope you all are enjoying the grind.  July 5th was our 9-year wedding anniversary.  Yay for us winning at the marriage game!  Unfortunately, I ruined our long holiday/anniversary weekend by crashing our car.  All jokes aside, it was pretty terrifying.  I'll spare you all most the details, but I was at fault because I ran a red light (that I did not even see until the moment of impact). My airbags deployed when the other car hit my driver's side and my car spun out a few times.  Thank the good lord above that we all walked away free of severe injuries.

Have you ever been in a collision?  This was my first accident, other than a few minor fender benders.  That smell when the airbags go off!  I feel like it was burnt into my nose and throat.  It didn't help that it was about 100 degrees that day and we were all stuck on hot asphalt for about an hour.   I got pretty scratched/bruised up and the day after came the aches.

But I feel like I was more shaken up mentally.  My mistake could have led to something much worse.  Alternate endings kept running through my head. Thankfully, my husband has been so amazing throughout the ordeal.  Taking care of me, the car and insurance.  I don't want to get too sappy, but he truly is my rock. My love.  We have been through hell and high water, but we get through it together.  Happy 9 years baby... here's to 90 more :)

Now that Debbie Downer has left the room, let's talk about this recipe! I hope the pictures above have you salivating over some fried cheese curds.  Isn't curd such an ugly word? What is a cheese curd you may ask? Well, they are basically cheddar cheese babies.  Before the cheddar cheese goes and grows up on us, this little curdies are a byproduct of the cheese making process. Salty, firm and a bit squeaky when you eat them raw.  They are delicious, but even more so when you coat them in a beer batter and fry them until they are golden brown beauties.

Beer Batter Fried Cheese Curds + Harissa Ranch Dipping Sauce

For the curds:
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup beer ( I used Rolling Rock)
16 ounces cheese curds, unflavored

For the sauce:
1/4 cup of your favorite ranch dressing
2 tablespoons harissa paste (or any other spicy sauce, like sriracha)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder.  Next, whisk in the beer until a thin batter forms.

Fill a deep pot halfway up with an unflavored oil, such as peanut, vegetable, or canola. Heat over high heat until a thermometer reads 375 degrees.

With a slotted spoon, coat about 6-10 curds at a time and let most of the batter drip off before adding to oil.  Fry for 2-4 minutes until the curds are golden brown.  Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined sheet pan.

Serve when hot with the dipping sauce.

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