In your head, right now, you’re either saying “Eww, what’s a cheese curd?” or “Yum! Squeaky cheese!” If you’re with me, living close enough to Tillamook Cheese Factory for an occasional visit, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We drive there once in a while just to buy a couple of bags of Squeaky Cheese, which is their unofficial name for cheese curds, thanks to the squeaking feel when you bite them. I know that only makes sense if you’ve ever eaten one, but if you haven’t you’re really missing something.
Every year when we go camping, we stop at A & W in Estacada for lunch. They serve Fried Cheese Curds, which is every bit as healthy as it sounds. But oh, so good. Now that my daughter has gone gluten-free, she can no longer indulge in those little bits of deep-fried deliciousness.
Codi and her fiancé took a trip to Tillamook for her birthday and brought back two bags of squeaky cheese. Her dad was determined to find a way for them to enjoy this little treat without the gluten, and he pulled it off in a big way.
I don’t have measurements, but it’s easy to add more if necessary as you go. To start, he dipped the cheese curds in a couple of lightly beaten eggs. Next, he tossed them into a bag with a bit of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour to coat. After that, he arranged them in a layer on a baking sheet and placed them into the freezer for 30 minutes. The final step was carefully lowering them into 375 degree oil and cooking until they turned brown, which took about 45 to 60 seconds. These were almost too good.
Tillamook only sells cheese curds at their factory in Tillamook, which is reason enough to visit Oregon. But if you don’t have any vacation plans for the west coast and want to give squeaky cheese a try, keep an eye out next February. Apparently Tillamook sold them online for one day only this year, so I’m guessing it might happen again in 2014. I’ll be waiting patiently to find out.
My husband was going to make these last week, but we were nearly out of gluten-free flour. I had some gluten-free pie crust mix he used to make up the difference and they were even better. They tasted like a cheesy pastry!