How To Make Sure Your Halloumi Cheese Is Perfectly Cooked

Grilled and fried halloumi, plated
Grilled and fried halloumi, plated - A-lesa/Getty Images

When you think of recipes with hot cheese the first thing that comes to mind is probably melty, gooey goodness. But what about a fried cheese that stays solid and squeaky? If you're thinking that's impossible, well, then this must be your first introduction to halloumi cheese. This Greek semi-soft cheese, which hails from Cyprus, doesn't melt -- but it does brown nicely when it's cooked in a frying pan, on top of a grill, or many other ways.

Cooking halloumi cheese to perfection doesn't require any complicated techniques or special equipment. Any skillet and a little oil will do when it comes to frying. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it so that it doesn't burn. Since it doesn't melt, you will have to rely on your spatula to tell when it's done. This is easily done by prodding the cheese with the utensil to check its softness. Once it is sufficiently crispy and browned on the outside and noticeably soft under the spatula's touch, the halloumi is ready to devour -- either as a part of a meze platter, on top of a salad, in a sandwich, or a main dish with veggies, meats, and even fruit.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

Frying Halloumi Cheese Is Easy And Quick

Halloumi cheese, olives, tomato, lemon
Halloumi cheese, olives, tomato, lemon - tasha_lyubina/Shutterstock

As a savory, sturdy cheese, halloumi is better off cooked than eaten straight from the package. The cooking process brings out all of the cheese's complexity, highlighting its full flavor profile. And, since it doesn't melt, the squeaky cheese will also benefit from the delicious crispy exterior it gets as it cooks. While halloumi can also be baked, tossed on the barbecue, or even skewered and grilled, frying is a great way to cook the cheese in a hurry for a quick meal.

Olive oil is the best choice here. You'll want to apply some to both sides of the sliced cheese after patting it dry with a paper towel. You can also add some to the pan if you like the extra flavor or if you are frying the cheese with fresh herbs and veggies (cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced peppers are both excellent choices). You'll want to cook the cheese for a couple of minutes before flipping to fry the other side. It should develop a crispy golden brown color on each side at this point. Use your spatula to test for doneness before you remove it from the heat. Once the cheese feels soft inside and gives easily you'll know that it is cooked to perfection.

If you'd rather skip the oil, halloumi can also be dry-fried in a non-stick pan. Or toss it in your air fryer for up to ten minutes. But be sure to turn it over halfway through.

Ideas For Making The Most Out Of Cooked Halloumi Cheese

Salad topped with halloumi cheese
Salad topped with halloumi cheese - Cesarz/Shutterstock

Whether you've fried your halloumi to perfection or decided on a different cooking method, now it's time to use it in a dish. With its firm texture, halloumi makes a great meat substitute. Slide a fried slice between a hamburger bun for an elevated take on the cheeseburger, stuff it in a pita to use as the protein for a vegetarian gyro, or pair the halloumi with veggies for a delectable sandwich. Like mozzarella sticks, the sliced and fried cheese is also great for dipping. Or chop it up and use it as a substitute for cheese curds on poutine.

The crisp, salty cheese pairs well with many veggies and fruit so be sure to try it in a variety of salads. Give it a shot on a regular green salad or a warm roasted veggie salad. It goes especially well with asparagus, tomatoes, and eggplant. And halloumi cheese also makes a great stand-in for croutons. As for fruit, watermelon, grapes, berries, and figs are fantastic accompaniments. While it isn't ideal for pizza or grilled cheese, there are certainly plenty of ways to enjoy delicious halloumi cheese -- especially after it's been fried.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.