Creamed Spinach with Fried Cheese Curds
Creamed Spinach with Fried Cheese Curds
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Rating:
3.5 (16 rated)
Servings:
6-8

Fried cheese curds are added to creamed spinach for a decadent spin on a popular Thanksgiving side.

Ingredients

  • Spinach

    • 3 bags pre-washed spinach
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Cream Reduction

    • 1 quart heavy cream
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 sprig thyme
    • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
    • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese Curds

    • 1/2 gallon grapeseed oil for frying
    • 2 cups uncoated cheese curds
    • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation

Spinach:

Gently cook garlic and shallots in oil for 30 seconds, then add spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Cook down until spinach is wilted. Take off heat and cool to a temperature that is bearable to touch. Dump onto a wire rack so the excess water can drip off.

Once cooled, squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach.

Place in cooler or refrigerator to chill completely until ready to assemble. 

Cream Reduction:

On low heat in a heavy bottomed pot, combine the heavy cream, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and shallots. Reduce the cream to half of the original volume and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Using a sieve strain the cream into a metal bowl.

Over a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks into the cream for 3-5 minutes.

Take off heat and set aside until ready to use.

Cheese Curds:

In a large pot, preheat oil to 375 degrees.

Whisk eggs with 2-3 tablespoons of water, then set aside. 

Place the flour and panko in two separate bowls or plates.

Have a parchment lined sheet pan to place the crusted cheese curds on. Using your hands or a fork to coat, roll the curds in flour and tap so that extra flour comes off; dip in the egg wash, then roll in panko crumbs until completely coated (it is okay to have excess bread crumbs at this point). Set onto sheet pan.

Before frying, have a sheet pan lined with paper towels ready. 

Place about a cup of the breaded cheese curds into the oil and fry until golden brown and cheese has begun to ooze, approximately 2 minutes. Use a spider or colander spoon to retrieve the curds and place on the paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Assembly:

In a pot on low to medium heat combine the cream reduction and spinach and heat, stirring, until warm; check seasoning and adjust as needed.

Place fried cheese curds on top of the creamed spinach, season with salt, and serve.

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Thanksgiving sides: Maple butter sweet potato, spinach with cheese curds

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