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Recreate your favorite 608 dish: Cheese curds and ranch

Name a more iconic duo than cheese curds and ranch — we’ll wait. Today, we’re making Madison’s favorite appetizer, in the comfort of our home.

608 curds

It’s not a trip to Madison without cheese curds. | Photo by Great Dane Pub

Now that we’ve recreated Ian’s mac and cheese pizza, and Paul’s Pel’meni, we’re diving into arguably one of the most iconic Madison bites — cheese curds and ranch.

Curd ingredients

cheese curd ingredients

Get creative with your curds — we chose buffalo. | Photo by 608today

  • 1 lb fresh cheese curds — the squeakier the better
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Spotted Cow — or an inferior beer of your choosing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cayenne, garlic salt, and mustard powder to taste
  • Canola oil

Curd instructions

  1. Add 2 inches of oil to a deep frying pan
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and seasonings in a bowl
  3. Beat egg and add to dry ingredients along with beer
  4. Add more beer or flour as needed to get it to a pancake batter consistency
  5. Using a slotted spoon, coat the curds in batter and drop them into your 400º oil
  6. After about a minute, remove your golden brown curds and let them rest on a plate lined with paper towel

Ranch ingredients

homemade ranch for cheese curds

Adjust and add seasonings to your taste. | Photo by 608today

  • 1/2 cup Duke’s mayo — or an inferior mayo of your choosing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Dried dill
  • Dried parsley
  • Green Goddess seasoning, cayenne, and garlic salt to taste

Ranch instructions

  1. Add ingredients to a mason jar — or an empty salsa jar, mayo container, etc.
  2. Make sure the lid is on tight, and shake away
  3. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  4. Get dippin’

Talk curdy to me

Fresh squeaky curds are the main event of this dish, and there are plenty of local options and flavors to choose from:

Wisconsin Cheese Mart | 119 State St.
Sweet Bourbon Chipotle Bacon curds by Weyauwega Star Dairy

Willy Street Co-op | 1221 Williamson St.
Garlic Dill curds by Cedar Grove

Cap Centre Market | 111 North Broom St.
Bloody Mary curds by North Country Cheese

Northwoods Cheese | 2518 Advance Rd.
Cajun curds by Ellsworth Dairy

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