Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Important cheese alert

I love to grill cheese. What is better than cheese seared to a crisp on the outside and oozy on the inside? Which is why I've been a fan for ages of the Cypriot cheese halloumi.

Grilled quickly in a hot cast iron skillet and topped with a cilantro mojo or, as Sophie and I enjoyed at a Greek festival this spring, a vinaigrette with sliced tomatoes, capers, and fresh mint, it's a great appetizer or small side dish.

The only drawback is that the brand I usually buy is sort of expensive—almost $10 a container.
But check out what I found at Trader Joe's last week:


It's not exactly the same—not as soft, perhaps a little rubbery; not quite as briny—as traditional halloumi. But at a fraction of the cost and with a good topping, I can live with this. Halloumi can go right into the heated pan; I found a light coating of olive oil on the pan surface helped this detach a little better.

Tossed with several colors of miniature tomatoes, cilantro, a little olive oil, and a few squeezes of fresh lime, this mixture was a nice alternative with chips to a traditional salsa as an appetizer for our Mexican-themed Sunday dinner.

Grilled cheese AND saved money. Does it get any better than that?


Kate said...

Drool....The nearest TJ's is about half and hour away but this might make it worth the trip!

Stitch1Peta said...

don't have TJ's in Australia. I got haloumi today from the Adelaide Central Market that's a huge food market where you can buy just about anything. Your salad looks lovely

Rachella said...

Halloumi is the best! At my house we call in squeeky cheese.

tommie said...

I always know I can come over here and find my latest fun meal to make and serve.

This is totally going on my menu for the following weekend!