Little Bites and Bold Sides

Cheddar Cheese Curds with Roasted Tomato Coulis

Serves 4


  • For Coulis:
  • 1 ounce fresh oregano sprigs (1/2 bunch)
  • 1 ounce fresh thyme sprigs (1/2 bunch) plus 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 ounce fresh cilantro sprigs (1/2 bunch)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh parsley sprigs
  • 8 medium tomatoes, cored
  • 1 head garlic, split
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • For Curds:
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 pound Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds, 1 to 1 1/2 inch
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • To Complete the Recipe:
  • 1 cup fresh parsley sprigs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

For coulis: Soak sprigs of herbs in cold water 20 minutes. Prepare grill. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make a circular bed of the herbs on grill. Arrange tomatoes and garlic in a pyramid on top of the herbs. Invert a large bowl, or cover with large piece of foil to seal in heat. Grill 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are roasted and slightly charred, and garlic is just softening. Remove from grill.

Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins into saucepan. Add tomatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Simmer for 15 minutes, removing the tomato skin that rises to top. Pass the mixture through a food mill or process in a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in an ice bath to cool.

For curds: Combine breadcrumbs, cornstarch, cayenne and 1 tablespoon chopped thyme in food processor. Process until breadcrumbs are finely ground. Place in pie plate. Pour beaten eggs into another pie plate and flour in a third pie plate. Dredge the cheese curds in flour, then egg and finally, the bread crumb mixture. Place cheese curds on baking sheet and set in freezer for 20 minutes.

Heat 3 inches oil to 365°- 375°F. Fry parsley leaves until crisp; drain on paper towels. Fry cheese curds in batches until crisp and warmed all the way through. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon crisp curds onto fried parsley. Top with coulis.