Cheese curd isn’t a special kind of cheese. It is just your typical cheese but fresh. Some people may refer to it as a young cheddar that has not been aged. Cheese, as we all know, is aged to reach its ideal flavor and texture.
In short, not fresh. It is sold in the grocery store, but the one you are buying there may likely not be the real deal. If you are from Wisconsin or the Midwest, then you know what the real deal tastes like.
They are distinguished by how fresh they are, and in these two locations, they have rules on how to sell the cheese curds. They can only sell the curd up to one day after they are produced without having been refrigerated.
Outside, the rules do not apply because you can refrigerate and still get them good. To lengthen their shelf life, many refrigerate, gas flush, or do vacuum packaging.
Why Do Cheese Curds Squeak
Cheese curd squeaks only when it is fresh due to the air trapped inside it. If you eat the cheese curd and it does not have the rubbery texture to it, then it has passed its time.
You should feel this resistance when biting through it, making it squeak, which is caused when your teeth rub on the curd. When it stays for even a week, the calcium that makes it that tough dissolves making it softer.
How long does it last?
If you buy them fresh from the retailer, then the squeakiness lasts 24 hours and will be very squeaky. Sometimes this won’t always be the case, so you will probably have to refrigerate. Once you do, it will last up to 5 days.
If you can’t get fresh cheese curd, make sure to let them temper for up to 20 minutes as soon as you remove them from the fridge. Keep them in their original package so as not to lose moisture.
If you are using them in another meal, you could microwave them for 5 seconds to warm them up. They do melt when heated up, so if that’s not what you are going for, do not heat for too long. Just keep an eye on it.
How do you eat them?
The most common way of eating cheese curd is after you fry them. Many deep-fry them first then eat them as snacks like mozzarella sticks. Below we will look at ways of how people have incorporated the cheese curd in their recipes, and maybe you can learn how to use it next time.
Fried Cheese Curds
They are used as an appetizer or like we said, snacks. You will need:
- 1lbs cheese curd
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- One egg
- 1-quart oil (any you prefer)
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees and use a kitchen thermometer to monitor it carefully.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, buttermilk salt, and egg. Whisk them till they are a smooth consistency.
- Coat the cheese curds with the batter.
- Fry them and be careful not to overcrowd them. Fry till golden brown.
- Place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Enjoy!
For the people who count their calories, this snack has a total of 366 calories though it depends highly on the amount of unused batter and the leftover oil.
You could also decide to go the more natural way for the fried cheese curd, and air fry them. This would be an excellent way to freeze your cheese curds to achieve a good taste and with the least calories. Let’s assume you’ve already done the coating, and you now want to cook them in the air fryer.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees, which will take five minutes. It also guarantees that they will be cooked evenly.
- Spray the cheese curds lightly with cooking oil.
- Place the cheese curds in the air fryer and prepare them for 6 minutes. Do not overcook to avoid getting them melted.
- Shake the basket once in three minutes to facilitate even cooking for all the cheese curds.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve.
Tip: If you decide to freeze them and you want to cook them, do not let them melt at room temperature before frying them because it will affect their taste when you do prepare them.
Spicy Cheese Curds
For the spicy cheese curds, you will only add some spice as the name suggests to make the flavor more interesting. While making the batter coat the cheese curds, add cayenne pepper and chili powder to give them that kick.
This is only for the ones with good tolerance for chili though hehe! If that is too much, you could replace the two spices with garlic powder and cook yourself some bearable garlic cheese curds. You could use the garlic itself crushed or use the garlic powder instead.
Baked Cheese Curd
To bake cheese curds successfully, you need to double-bread and freeze before cooking and spray with oil.
- 1 cup flour
- Four eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- Seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 10 oz cheese curds
- Set up three stations for the breading, the eggs tray mixed with milk seasoned with salt and pepper, and the third one with breadcrumbs.
- Work with a dry hand and a wet hand. The third tray is for the second breading to cover the cheese curds completely.
- Place them on a lined cookie sheet. After you bread all the cheese curds, freeze them for four hours.
- Preheat your oven when ready to cook to 400 degrees.
- Spray the now coated cheese curds with the cooking spray and place them on a parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until brown, then serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Cheese Curd Fries/Poutine Fries
It is also known as poutine fries, a mixture of deep-fried fries poutine gravy and cheese curds, most preferably cheddar cheese. They are from Canada and are even called Canadian fries. The gravy varies from chicken to beef. You could also decide to mix them.
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese curds
- ¼ cup flour
- One clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp of ketchup
- 4 lbs russet potatoes washed with skin-on and pat dried
- 2 cups of beef stock
- One shallot minced
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp green peppercorns
- ½ Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Canola or peanut oil for frying
- Cut the potatoes into long strips depending on how long you want your fries and place them in a bowl of cold water and cover it. Refrigerate for two hours.
- Heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then add flour and stir until smooth. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the stock ketchup, vinegar, the Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook until thick for about 6 minutes, then remove it from the pan. Make sure to keep it warm.
- In a dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches and heat over medium heat until the temperature is 325 degrees. Remember our refrigerated potatoes, drain and pat them dry. Fry them in small batches tossing them regularly. Let them get crisp and tender for 4 minutes.
- Place over a paper towel to drain excess oil and let them cool for 20 minutes. Maintain the heat of the oil by checking the thermometer because you will need to fry them the second time. Return them in the oil still in small batches until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain the excess oil on the paper towels then serve the fries. Pour the gravy on top and the cheese curds. The heat from the chips and the gravy will melt the cheese curds slowly.
- Eat while hot or warm!
Buffalo Wild Wings Cheese Curds
Buffalo Wild Wings is an American dining restaurant that specializes in Buffalo wings and sauces. They are known for their tasty burgers, and they even have one that incorporates fried cheddar cheese curd.
They also sell fried Wisconsin’s cheddar cheese curds as appetizers, and you can even order online.
Cheese Curd Bacon Burger
This is one of Buffalo Wild Wings’ special and is delicious. Imagine bacon and fried cheese curd mixed with your favorite sauce bursting their delicious flavors in your mouth! You should check them out for sure!
If you don’t want to eat out, you could decide to go on the high road and make it yourself.
- 100g cheddar cheese curds
- 1 lb medium lean ground beef
- ¼ cup shallots chopped
- 4 tsp Beefy mix spices
- One egg
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Four hamburger buns
- ⅓ cup of barbecue sauce
- One sliced tomato
- Eight leaves of lettuce
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat
- Mix the ground beef with the cheese curds, shallots, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, and the beef spice.
- Form patties with the mixture of prepared meat. Preferably four patties.
- Place them on the well oiled and already hot grill. Close it for 4 to 5 minutes turning them over until they are not pink inside.
- Grill the buns on the upper rack to avoid them being soggy.
- Assemble your burger starting with the bottom pattie, then the lettuce, tomato bacon, and patty. Finish with the top bun. Assembling depends on how you want them arranged.
This is your basic cheese curd bacon burger, but you can go all out and fry the cheese curds first then add them as you assemble the burger and not mix them in the patty like above.
Cheese Curd Pizza
It seems Cheese curds are very dynamic and fit almost anywhere. They add texture to the pizza, and let’s not even start about the flavor!
- Pizza dough
- Toppings you prefer
- 1 lb cheese curds
- Spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
- Oil the pan first or spray some oil on it. Get the dough and spread it on the pan pressing the edges to fit. Spread a thin layer of the sauce.
- Add the pound of cheese curd, scattering them evenly on the sauce, and add your favorite toppings. The good thing about making this by yourself is that you can put as much cheese curd or toppings you want. The cheese curd acts as the cheese on the pizza.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the pizza on the bottom shelf. This will take 45 minutes to cook. When done, the cheese will have browned and the crust crisp.
Cheese Curd Dipping Sauce
Honestly, cheese curd dipping sauces vary according to one’s preference. There isn’t a special sauce for cheese curds. You could decide on the following:
- The Chipotle Mayo is a versatile condiment. The chipotle peppers add the heat, and the mayonnaise gives it a sweet taste.
- The Nashville hot sauce with butter, which is hot as the name suggests. It is pasty and made from cayenne pepper spices and brown sugar.
- Creamy Italian dressing is creamy and so easy to make. This one also goes well with the fried cheese curds, especially the spiced ones.
Are Cheese Curds Healthy?
Yes. Cheese curd is super nutritious with vitamin B, high in protein and minerals like calcium. It is a perfect snack for those looking to lose weight. A cup of cheddar cheese curd has 163 calories only.
Foods high in protein take longer to digest, so keep you feeling full for a while. Their downside is that if you rely on them alone for weight loss, you may get bored, and also they have no fiber.
If you can get something else to give you the fiber and persevere the diet, you will go. That is why they perfectly fit in a keto diet because it has low carb count and perfect fat. The only difference will be if you fry it or your choice of sauce.
Those would add the calories. In fried cheese curds, the calories are high, going to about 570 per 5oz serving. Cheese curds are also gluten-free, but depending on the cheese because not all cheese is gluten-free. Parmesan, provolone, and ricotta are gluten-free.