Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 8 a.m.
Ooey, gooey local goodies
In the beginning, Foxy Falafel
was just a girl with a stand at a farmers market and a killer recipe for fried chickpea balls. Since then, chef Erica Strait has expanded her empire to include appearances at several farmers markets; a bright green, yellow, and chrome food truck nicknamed Roxy; and an adorable restaurant on Raymond Avenue in St. Paul. Since those early days, her menu has also expanded greatly, and no addition was more welcome than these fried golden nubs of local cheese.
Part of the beauty of these curds is their simplicity. Fresh cheese curds are dredged in cornstarch seasoned with dill fronds and then fried. Nothing more, nothing less -- which means these nuggets are also safe for the gluten-intolerant.
Strait serves them directly from the fryer with some local honey for dipping. The result is a crackling crisp crust that surrounds molten mild cheese, which stretches precariously from bite to hand. The sweetness of the honey accentuates the bright herbal note of the dill. Chewy, hearty, sweet, and salty, this dish is simply irresistible.