Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors
Halloumi Cheese: What Is It and How to Cook?
Halloumi cheese is a type of Turkish Cypriot or Greek Cypriot cheese that has been around for centuries, but has recently been given protected designation of origin (POD) by the European Union. It is made from a mixture of cow's milk and sheep's milk or goat's milk, which gives it a distinctive salty flavour. Halloumi cheese can be grilled, fried in oil, baked or roasted over an open flame. In this blog post we will explore all the different ways you can cook with halloumi to enjoy its unique taste!
Watch this video on how to make fried halloumi cheese
What is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi is a type of cheese that originates from Cyprus and Greece, and is becoming more popular in the United States. It is a mixture of goat milk and sheep milk, which is why it has such an interesting flavor to it. We're talking about the taste here—not the smell or appearance. Halloumi can be flavored with many different spices like pepper, salt, coriander seeds, cumin, and hot peppers (depending on how spicy you want your halloumi). The best part: You can cook this cheese just by grilling without any oil! This makes for some tasty dishes if you are looking for something light but filling at the same time.
This cheese has a high melting point, which means that it is the perfect grilling cheese. It does not melt easily because of the high content of protein in its milk and preparation methods like salting or brining before cooking (and during). More so than any other type of cheese, halloumi has an elastic spongy texture to it when heated. If you want to make sure your meal will be outstandingly delicious, add some lemon juice after letting this cheese cool down from heating up!
Here are just a few dishes made using this type of dairy: Hallum pie which can also be found as one of Cypriot's traditional foods; Feta salads with tomatoes and cucumbers; Roasted eggplant filled with grilled halloumi and a creamy tahini sauce; Halloumi kebabs with tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
No one knows for sure where the name 'halloumi' comes from, but there are some theories about it being derived from "ḥalūmī" which in Arabic means "to be warm or hot".
In Cypriot Greek dialects hallōmis can also mean someone who is always singing. This does not have any connection to cheese though so I think that's just how people pronounce the word in certain areas of Greece.
Now you know all about this type of dairy!
How to eat halloumi cheese
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese with a high melting point, which makes it perfect for grilling. The best way to have halloumi is grilled on low heat in order to produce the most flavourful and juicy result.
To cook your halloumi properly:
Start cutting halloumi slices off either end of the slab so that you can easily grip it without burning your fingers - cut off about an inch or two from each side; this will give you enough length to grill comfortably while still having plenty left over when finished.
Fold one half back onto itself and then fold the other half back on top like a book. This will keep flat as well as make sure none of the cheese leaks out during the grilling process.
Grill your halloumi for about five minutes on each side so that it has a beautiful golden crust. The softer, gooier texture of grilled halloumi is irresistible and tastes even better than you could imagine!
Once finished with cooking, allow the cheese to cool slightly before slicing into manageable pieces - this will ensure that heat doesn't crack or melt through any parts of the cheese while waiting too long.
Be sure not to overcook your halloumi because it's very delicate and can easily burn; trust me—you'll know when it does because smoke residue aroma will fill up the air around you!
How to cook with halloumi cheese
Halloumi cheese is a firm, salty white block. It can be pan-fried or grilled to create bubbly browned crispy edges and used hot or cold in sandwiches, salads, soups—you name it!
You will need:
halloumi cheese of course!
Nonstick skillet (or grill) with lid.
The cooking time for grilling varies depending on the size of your slice so keep an eye out during this step. When you think that it's done flip over the piece of halloumi that's cooking first before flipping the others as they'll all cook at different rates due to their varying thicknesses so you don't want them overcooking while you're waiting for the others.
Cooking the block of halloumi:
Heat an oiled pan over medium-high heat until hot, then place a slice of halloumi on it with enough space for another one to fit next to it without overlapping. Cook about three minutes per side or until brown and crispy (resist any temptation to move them around). Don't worry if they puff up like little pancakes when you turn them! Remove from skillet, cover loosely with foil so that cheese can continue cooking as it cools off. Repeat process with additional slices of cheese. Once your desired amount has been cooked return all pieces back into the warm pan and cook again in batches if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later use by storing in an airtight container and re-heating in the oven or microwave.
Halloumi cheese recipes
Traditional halloumi cheese has a tangy, salty flavor that is perfect for use in various recipes. Here are some of the best halloumi recipes:
Fried Halloumi with Ginger and Lime
Frying halloumi is a popular way to prepare it. To do so:
Cut the cheese into pieces, cover with flour and beaten eggs. Fry in hot oil in a frying pan until golden brown. Add salt or any other spice you like.
Pour in the ginger, lime juice and chilli. Mix well before pouring over fried halloumi. Optional: add fresh mint leaves to taste.
This recipe is for a quick dish that's perfect as an appetizer or snack in the warmer months on a hot day.
Halloumi with Tomato and Pesto Sauce
This recipe is for halloumi cheese with pesto sauce and tomato. In a bowl, mix the ingredients of basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic cloves (minced), grated Parmesan cheese, salt to taste and black pepper powder. Stir in olive oil. Add shredded fresh tomatoes over the top of this mixture before pouring it on top of the slices of halloumi cheese laid out on a plate - each slice should be about an inch wide. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything while stirring in parsley or cilantro if desired. Finally garnish with olives as desired and serve warm or cold depending on preference.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese Sandwich Recipe
In a bowl, mix the ingredients of basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic cloves (minced), grated Parmesan cheese, salt to taste and black pepper powder. Stir in olive oil. Add shredded fresh tomatoes over the top of this mixture before pouring it on top of the slices of halloumi cheese laid out on a plate - each slice should be about an inch wide. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything while stirring in parsley or cilantro if desired. Finally garnish with olives as desired and serve warm or cold depending on preference."
Grill Panini Wraps With Smoked Salmon And Cream Cheese Recipe
This recipe is for grilled sandwich wraps with smoked salmon and cream cheese. In a bowl, mix the ingredients of dill leaves (chopped), creamed cheese, salt to taste, pepper powder as desired and black caviar if wanted. Cut the bread into halves before spreading this mixture onto one side of each half; then place slices of halloumi cheese on top while pressing down lightly so that it sticks together with everything else in the wrap. Place these prepared sandwiches onto a hot grill pan coated with cooking oil - flipping them over after about two minutes or when they are golden brown all around. Allow to cook until both sides turn light brown in color; after which remove from heat and serve immediately.
Where to buy halloumi cheese
The easiest way to buy halloumi cheese is in your supermarket. Most major supermarkets carry it, especially during the summer months when it's at its peak of seasonality and availability. If you can't find it there, try looking for a specialty grocer or Middle Eastern market near you. Another option are online retailers like Amazon that sell this product year-round with an ease of delivery right to your doorsteps!
Is halloumi cheese good for you?
In a word, yes. There are a number of health benefits to eating halloumi cheese. For one thing, the amount of fat in it is actually very low for an animal-based food item such as cheese (it contains around 12 grams per 100g). This means that it can be eaten more often without worrying as much about weight gain or other general dietary concerns related to high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. Halloumi also happens to contain almost no lactose content - which makes sense given that you don't need milk when creating this type of cheese!
What cheese is similar to halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that is often grilled or fried, and considered to be a healthy option because it's high in protein. Halloumi has also been known as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin B12.
Similar cheeses include feta cheese, paneer, ricotta salata, queso blanco polaco, panela (cow’s milk), cotija (sheep/goat).
Why is halloumi cheese so expensive?
Halloumi cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world. It’s a hard, salty cheese that can be sliced or cubed like cheddar and Monterey Jack, but has a much higher melting point so it doesn't ooze when cooked. Halloumi's complex flavor comes from its Mediterranean roots: The curd for this cheese is made by boiling milk with rennet (a coagulant), then letting it cool before straining out the solids. Then salt and lemon juice are added to create halloumic acid which creates little pockets throughout the fat globules during cooking; these air pockets allow more moisture to escape while retaining plenty of richness in texture. This process also gives halloumi a firm, rubbery texture.
It's halloumic acid that is the key to this cheese’s unique qualities. It gives it a higher melting point than other cheeses and helps give it its elasticity and ability to maintain shape at high temperatures without breaking down or oozing out of cracks in the meat like cheddar might do for instance (or mozzarella if you're cooking pizza). The flavor comes from salt and lemon juice mixed with rennet-coagulated milk. Once again, these techniques are traditional Mediterranean methods dating back centuries ago where salt was more readily available for preserving food and lemons were often used as part of salad dressings due to their antibacterial properties.
Halloumi cheese was first discovered in Cyprus over 200 years ago where it became popular as an appetizer with various dips or salads due to its salty taste when eaten raw. Halloumi is now produced all around the Mediterranean regions but still remains relatively expensive for being a delicacy rather than an every day staple foodstuff like cheddar or mozzarella would be here in North America. It’s worth mentioning though that because this cheese doesn't melt easily, you'll want to cook it at lower heat in order to avoid burning it.
Halloumi cheese is so expensive because the process of making halloumic acid creates little pockets throughout the fat globules during cooking, which have a higher melting point and allow more moisture to escape while retaining plenty of richness in texture. The flavor comes from salt and lemon juice mixed with rennet-coagulated milk. Once again, these techniques are traditional Mediterranean methods dating back centuries ago where salt was more readily available for preserving food and lemons were often used as part of salad dressings due to their antibacterial properties.
What does halloumi taste like?
Halloumi can have a salty, tangy flavor. It is also sometimes described as "buttery" or having notes of lemon and herbs. However, it's important to remember that the taste varies across brands and even individual batches! So if you don't like the halloumi from one brand, try another one next time!
Final thoughts on halloumi cheese
Hope you enjoyed this article about halloumi cheese!
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