Ultimate Halloumi Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe & Tips

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a sandwich where each layer offers a delightful crunch, followed by the luscious, melting goodness of cheese. That’s the magic of a halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, a twist on the classic that you’ll find irresistibly unique. Originating from the Mediterranean, halloumi cheese is known for its ability to hold shape and turn golden without melting away, making it the perfect star for a grilled cheese experience.

Ingredients

To create the perfect hallouimi grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll need a few key ingredients that bring out the best in this Mediterranean delight. Let’s explore what you’ll need to assemble this savory treat.

Halloumi Cheese

  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese: Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Halloumi is renowned for its firm texture and golden-brown char when grilled, enhancing the flavor profile of your sandwich.

Bread Selection

  • 4 slices of sourdough bread: Choose a sturdy bread like sourdumb that can handle the grilling process and hold all the toppings without becoming soggy.
  • Butter: Soften it for easier spreading. You’ll need enough to butter each slice of bread on one side to achieve that perfectly crispy, golden exterior.

Other Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil: For brushing the cheese and enhancing its grilling properties.
  • 1 ripe tomato: Thinly sliced, adding a juicy, tangy layer to the sandwich.
  • A handful of arugula: Adds a peppery freshness that complements the salty halloumi beautifully.
  • Optional: Consider adding a spread like pesto or a sprinkle of za’atar seasoning for an extra burst of flavor.

Required Tools and Equipment

Before diving into the culinary process of making your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, make sure you have the right tools and equipment handy. This will ensure your cooking experience is as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

Grill Pan or Skillet

A heavy, non-stick grill pan or skillet is essential for achieving that perfectly crisp and golden crust on your halloumi. The ridges in a grill pan also add visually appealing grill marks that enhance the rustic look of your sandwich.

Spatula

Use a sturdy spatula to flip the sandwich smoothly, ensuring that your ingredients stay intact while achieving even cooking on both sides. A metal spatary works well, but make sure it’s suitable for use with your skillet if it’s non-stick.

Knife

A sharp knife is crucial for slicing the halloumi cheese and your desired fixings like tomatoes or arugula. A good chef’s knife can handle both these tasks with ease.

Cutting Board

A cutting board provides a stable surface for you to prepare your ingredients. Opt for a wooden or plastic board that’s easy to clean and won’t dull your knives.

Measuring Spoons

Precise measurements can elevate your cooking from good to fantastic, especially when adding seasoning like za’atar or spreading pesto. Measuring spoons will help you add just the right amount of each ingredient.

Once you have all your equipment ready, you are set to start cooking. Each tool plays a pivotal role in creating a delicious halloumi grilled cheese sandwich that looks and tastes wonderful.

Prep Instructions

Before you start assembling your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, prepare all the components first to ensure a smooth and efficient cooking process.

Slicing the Cheese

Take your block of halloumi cheese and place it on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the cheese into even, medium-thickness slices—about ¼ inch each. This thickness ensures that the halloumi will cook through perfectly while maintaining a delightful texture that is crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Preparing the Bread

Select two slices of your favorite artisanal bread—sourdough or ciabatta works wonderfully for this recipe. Each slice should be about ½ inch thick to support the weight of the cheese and toppings without becoming too soggy. If desired, lightly butter one side of each bread slice; this will be the outside of your sandwich, adding a golden crispiness to the bread when grilled.

Prep Toppings

For toppings, choose fresh ingredients that complement the salty taste of halloumi. A few suggestions include thinly sliced tomato, crisp lettuce leaves, and a touch of basil or arugula for a peppery kick. Rinse your selected greens and pat them dry with a paper towel. If using tomato, slice it into thin rounds. Arrange all toppings on your workspace so that they’re ready to layer into your sandwich once the cheese is grilled.

Cooking Directions

Now that you’ve prepared all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich. Follow these steps to ensure a golden, crispy sandwich with perfectly melted cheese.

Grilling the Halloumi

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. You don’t need to add oil since halloumi cheese has a high melting point and won’t stick easily.
  2. Place the halloumi slices in the skillet. Grill them for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown and crusty. The cheese should be soft and slightly springy to the touch.
  3. Once grilled, remove the halloumi slices from the skillet and set them aside on a plate.

Assembling the Sandwich

  1. Lay out the buttered slices of your chosen artisanal bread on a clean surface.
  2. On one slice of bread, layer the grilled halloumi cheese, followed by slices of tomato and a bit of lettuce. The freshness of the vegetables will complement the richness of the cheese perfectly.
  3. Place the second slice of bread on top, buttered side facing out. This will help achieve a crispy texture on the outside of the sandwich.

Reheating and Serving

  1. Reheat the skillet over medium heat. If the skillet appears dry, you can add a little more butter to prevent sticking and enhance flavor.
  2. Carefully place your assembled sandwich into the skillet. Press down lightly with a spatula to ensure even contact with the heat.
  3. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the bread turns a rich golden brown and the cheese inside starts to melt.
  4. Once both sides are crispy and the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich from the skillet.
  5. Slice it diagonally before serving to make it easier to eat and to display the beautiful layers of your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich.

Enjoy your delicious creation, highlighting all the textures from crispy bread to the soft, melty middle.

Serving Suggestions

After savoring the crispy crust and gooey center of your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, it’s time to think about how to serve it to enhance its flavors further. Here are several delightful ways to turn your sandwich into a full meal or a perfect snack:

Pair with a Soup

A classic serving option is to pair your halloumis grilled cheese with a hearty bowl of soup. Try a tomato basil for a touch of acidity, which nicely complements the salty richness of the halloumi, or a creamy butternut squash soup for a smooth and velvety counterpart to your sandwich.

Add a Side Salad

To balance the heartiness of the sandwich, serve it alongside a crisp side salad. Opt for a mix of arugula and spinach, tossed with a light vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices. This not only adds freshness to your meal but also introduces a pleasing contrast of textures.

Serve with Dipping Sauces

Enhance your dining experience by offering a variety of dipping sauces. A tangy yogurt dip or a robust marinara sauce works wonders by adding layers of flavor to each bite of the grilled cheese sandwich.

Pickled Vegetables for a Tangy Twist

For those who enjoy a bit of tang and crunch, serve some pickled vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or even capers as a side. These vinegary bites will cut through the richness and add an extra dimension to your meal.

Beverage Pairings

Finally, don’t forget to think about what to drink. A light, crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with the saltiness of halloumi, or for a non-alcoholic option, a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea complements the meal perfectly.

Choosing one or a combination of these serving suggestions, you can turn your halloumi grilled cheese sandwich into an even more enjoyable and satisfying meal.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making the perfect halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Gather your friends or cozy up with your family and bite into the crispy, melty goodness that you’ve created. Don’t forget to experiment with the suggested pairings to discover your favorite combinations. Whether it’s a casual lunch or a delightful dinner, this sandwich is sure to impress. Happy grilling!

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