Curd’s the Word

We love our cheese curds in Oregon.  There’s something extremely entertaining about these little morsels that make everything taste better— including broccoli.  Simply stated, curds come from the early stages of simple cheese making when acid is introduced to milk, separating it into the watery whey and solid curd.Broccoli and curds (640x480)

The resulting squiggly curds are fairly mild, rustic, low on the creamy scale, and a cheese kids seem to love. Unless a complete cheese snob, what’s not to like about little cartoon-like bites of squeaky cheese?

Here’s a way to get your cheese and broccoli together effortlessly.  No sauce is required, just plenty of unadulterated cheesy goodness.  Keep in mind that all you want to do is get your broccoli near al dente and quickly melt the cheese with it.  Beyond that, the cheese solidifies even more and all of the melted creaminess is lost.

Cheese Curds and Broccoli

Ingredients
2 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic or zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pound broccoli, rinse, cut off woody stems and then into florets
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound cheese curds, cut up any large curds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray 2 quart baking dish lightly with oil.
  2. In large skillet over medium high heat, add butter and the garlic or lemon zest; when aromatic add the broccoli.  When hot, add about 1/4 cup water or enough to create steam, cover for 2-3 minutes, until tender-crisp.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and place a layer of broccoli in baking dish. Layer with half of the curds, add remaining broccoli and top with the rest of the curds.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serves 4
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