The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Cheese

Tue Jun 16, 2015

Grilled Halloumi Pita Sandwiches

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Halloumi Pita

Now is as good a time as any to let you in on some big Meatwave news—we're moving! Yup, I'm taking the plunge and saying goodbye to New York and hello to North Carolina early next month. While the move will hopefully mean more grilling and more recipes in the long run, there's sadness in losing some of the things I've come to take for granted in the neighborhood I've called home for nearly 13 years, Astoria. With a heavily Greek population, Mediterranean foods abound, and my wife and I have grown accustomed to easily making a delicious and quick dinner out of the readily available halloumi cheese, top quality pita, and tzatziki that combine into one stellar sandwich.

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Tue Apr 21, 2015

Grilled Queso Panela with Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

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Queso Panela

Yes, you can grill cheese. I'm not talking about cheese between two slices of bread—also grillable—but bare slices of cheese thrown directly over the flames. Longtime readers of this blog probably already know this thanks to my obsession by one of the greatest cheeses of all time—halloumi. Halloumi is a very firm, salty goat and sheep's milk cheese from Cyprus that's a bit too hard when it's cold, but turns wonderfully creamy and squeaky when grilled or pan-fried. While I'll probably always advocate for halloumi as the best grilling cheese, it doesn't have a monopoly on the genre, and I tried out a whole host of others last summer including this queso panela that I served with a roasted tomato and poblano salsa.

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Tue Nov 11, 2014

Pimento Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

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Pimento Cheese Twice-baked Potatoes

It was a gradual, creeping change. Year by year, one by one, I took over every dish of the Thanksgiving dinner, save the out of season asparagus my Mother insists on. At this point, I've settled into a menu that adorns the holiday table each year, a series of dishes I think of as family tradition. So it came as some surprise when there was a request to alter this comforting and familiar spread into something new last year.

Being a man of tradition, it came with a little trepidation that sweet glazed ham replaced the roast turkey, macaroni and cheese took the place of the cornbread and sausage stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with bacon stood in for my green bean casserole. When I asked what we should do instead of mashed potatoes, my sister made it explicitly clear that those were to go nowhere. Still, I couldn't help but wonder what would be an appropriate starchy side that would go with the new meal that was taking shape, and thought these pimento cheese twice-baked potatoes would fit in seemlessly.

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Tue Aug 5, 2014

Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers

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Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers

My discovery of halloumi cheese is worthy of being called a "life changing moment." I remember it clearly—BZ Grill, a (then) new gyro shop opened up a few blocks away from where I was living in Astoria, Queens. My wife and I went for the gryos, which still rank as the best I've ever had, but upon perusing the menu, my better half opted for a halloumi sandwich.

Having never seen or heard of this hard Cypriot goat or sheep's milk cheese before, I was in awe as I watched the cook cut off slices and place them directly on the grill. The cheese not only kept its shape, but browned like a meat or veggie would over the high, direct heat. As if that weren't enough, the flavor and texture were incredible—slighty salty, a little tangy with a chew and squeak that I found really satisfying.

Ever since then, halloumi has become a regular item on my grill, but I tend to not do much with it beyond piling it into a pita or putting it in the occasional salad. Trying to think of different ways to use this grillable cheese, I came up with these halloumi and vegetable skewers, where it continued to triumph.

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Tue May 6, 2014

Grilled Cheese Tacos

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Grilled Cheese Tacos

Cinco de Mayo may be over, but my insatiable appetite for all things Mexican and Tex-Mex never ceases. So as a carryover, I bring you one more taco creation before I return to some more standard, All-American grilling. This particular taco came to light one day as I meandered through the grocery and came across a package in the Central American cheese section that was merely labeled "grilling cheese." The idea quickly struct me—how awesome would a grilled cheese taco be! So I grabbed a couple blocks of this grilling cheese, went home, and started a fire.

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