Tuesday, January 25, 2011
My son asked me if the cheese in the refrigerator was grilling cheese. Eli adores cheese. In fact, he had a kidney stone last year at age 16. He is the ultimate cheese freak, but he only gets it for a treat now.
I confirmed that the Halloom was, indeed, grilling cheese, and I told him that if he'd fire up the Char Broil Urban grill that I'd try grilling up a pack and use the olive oil that he brought back from Europe this summer to surprise me.
Basically, I did the Halloom grilling cheese just as I'd done the Yanni before.
I sliced the Halloom about 1/4 to a bit more thick. Then, I brushed it with olive oil. Then, I sprinkled it with Garlic Gold Nuggets. The GG garlic is super mild, so if you use regular garlic, then go easy on it. You don't want to overpower the flavor of the cheese.
You can also also use different seasoning sprinkles on the cheese too. One of our very favorites is Gary's Seasonings. But, again, use a light hand when seasoning cheese, since it already has a lot of great flavor.
The Masterbuilt barbecue smoker winner, Fred, had brought the Halloom from Canada as a gift to us, so that's how I happened to have some in the refrigerator. I briefly considered pan frying the cheese, but we really had loved the Yanni grilled. I decided to give it a try and see if I could get good results with Halloom cheese.
First, I let the Char Broil Urban grill heat up good with the lid closed. This was to get the infrared grates good and hot. Foods stick to cold grates, so preheating really is important when grilling.
After about 5 minutes (does not take long to heat the Char Broil infrared grill), I opened the lid and let some of the heat out and turned the burners down low. The time on that was around a minute with the lid open. I wanted hot grates but not a whole lot of heat for cheese. It is, after all, cheese!
With tongs, I placed the cheese on the grates. The olive oil combined with the cold temperatures outside produced a lot of initial smoke as you can see. Plus, I could hear a little sizzle.
I don't doctor up my photos, and I try to show you exactly what to expect. So, here you can see that you do get a little cheese sticking to the grates. It was minimal. This photo shows the extent of any sticking. I get a much bigger mess if I'm using barbecue sauce.
The cheese basically "set" when I placed it on the hot grates. With the heat pretty low and the cheese sliced somewhat thick, I closed the lid and let the cheese grill and smoke for around a minute with low heat.
I then opened the lid on the grill and flipped the Halloom grilling cheese and left the lid open. I could tell by the feel with the tongs that the cheese was basically ready, but I let the bottom side also set up and get grill marks. Again, this took very little time - under a minute I'd say. It could vary depending on the heat. I'd just lift a piece of cheese slightly and check.
The grilled Halloom cheese turned out perfect. It was delicious, and Eli said that he hopes we have it "at least once a month." I'm sure he'd say every day if he did not have that kidney stone issue.
I still rate Yanni grilling cheese as the tops, but Halloom is very good as well. My son at UNC can get Halloom or something similar, so we'll be grilling cheese around here.
If you've not tried grilled cheese, give it a try. It's easiest to do on a gas grill, since you can control the temperatures better, but I also do it on charocal. With charocal, I offset and do the cheese on the side without direct charcoal heat. It's a little harder to master charocal grilled cheese, but you get extra smoke flavor.