Cheese curds are a staple in Midwest cooking. At Spoon and Stable restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota we pair these crispy, fried curds with creamy spinach. This perfect pairing is the most popular item on our menu.
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 bags pre-washed spinach
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 gallon grapeseed oil
- 2 cups uncoated cheese curds
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
For the spinach:
1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and gently sweat garlic and shallots in the oil for 30 seconds, add spinach and season with salt and pepper.
2. Cook down until the spinach is wilted. Take off heat and cool to a temperature that is bearable to touch. Place the cooked spinach into a colander so the excess water can drip off.
3. Once the spinach has drained and cooled, squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach. Then, place in the refrigerator to chill completely.
For the cream:
1. In a heavy bottomed pot over low heat, add the heavy cream, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and shallots. Let simmer and reduce the cream to 1/2 of the original volume and season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the cream into a metal bowl.
3. Set a pot with about an inch of water in the bottom over high heat and bring to a simmer. Set the metal bowl over the pot to make a double boiler. Whisk the egg yolks into the cream for about 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
4. Take off heat and keep warm until ready to use.
For the cheese curds:
1. In a large pot, heat the oil to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with 2-3 tablespoons of water, set aside.
3. Place the flour and panko in two separate bowls.
4. Using your hands or a fork, roll the curds in the flour and tap so that extra flour comes off, dip them in the egg wash and then roll in the panko crumbs until completely coated (it is okay to have excess bread crumbs at this point) set the coated curds onto the prepared sheet pan.
5. Line a second sheet pan with paper towels.
6. Place about a cup of the breaded cheese curds into the oil and fry until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve the curds and place on the paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
In a pot over medium-low heat, combine the cream reduction and spinach until warm, check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Spoon the warned spinach onto plates and top with the warm cheese curds. Season lightly with salt and serve.