The Best Way to Eat Halloumi: Grilled!
Those who know me know I love to grill. So naturally I got excited when I learned there’s a cheese you can throw on your grill and it doesn’t even melt through the grate! You might have figured out we’re talking about Halloumi.
Halloumi is a traditional white, semi-hard cheese from Cypress. It’s usually made with sheep and goat milk, but can be made with cow’s milk, and is soaked in brine, which gives it it’s signature flavor. Most notably, Halloumi has an incredibly high melting point which makes it perfect for grilling; giving you a crisp, melty, chewy, salty snack you can’t get enough of.
If you’re trying Halloumi for the first time you could simply cut it into thick strips and cook it over the stove on a griddle or frying pan. You’ll get a nice golden crust on the surface creating what is basically a grilled cheese sandwich without the bread. It’s delicious! Job done. But if you really want to impress your friends you have to grill it outside!
Grilled Halloumi makes a great contribution to a cookout. Requiring almost no preparation it’s a perfect last minute item to grab and bring to a friend’s BBQ. And it’s quite a conversation starter. When guests see the grill marks on a hunk of cheese that just came hot off the grill they’re immediately intrigued. “Did you just cook that cheese on the grill? Didn’t it melt through or make a mess?” Those are about the exact words I always hear.
Now you have their attention, they have to try it. My friends love the golden seared edges from the open flame along with the brown crusty grill marks. Who can resist hot melty cheese? Then they notice the chewy and salty quality that reminds them of cheese curds. It’s a slam dunk!
How to prepare grilled halloumi:
- Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. It’s important to grill this hot to make sure to get a nice crust and to make it a short cook so you don’t lose too much moisture.
- Cut into thick slices. I like to get 4 to 6 slices out of a package.
- Once your grill is hot, place the strips right on the cooking grate. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden grill marks appear. Grill on both sides and remove and serve. I prefer to flip using a metal spatula and it’s not a bad idea to have a pair of tongs on hand for extra control.
Bam that’s it! You’ve got a great appetizer and your BBQ is off to a terrific start! Grilled Halloumi makes a great base for a bruschetta or you can throw it in a fresh summer salad. But I think it’s best eaten just straight off the grill!
Halloumi is featured as our July Cheese of the Month and you can buy it at the co-op at a 10% discount through July! If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time. We have one from Golden Star that is right from Cypress and is seasoned with mint. And we have some from a local cheese maker: Adirondack Grillcheese from Meyer’s Artisan Cheese in Fort Covington, NY. Get grilling!
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