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Video:Fried Halloumi Cheese

with John Mitzewich

Next time you're entertaining with cheese, try Cyprus' unique Halloumi. Made from goat and sheep's milk, Halloumi can be pan-fried without melting, making an unusual and tasty appetizer.See Transcript

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Transcript:Fried Halloumi Cheese

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com,. Today I'm going to show you how to fry Halloumi cheese. Yes, we're going to fry cheese and it's not going to melt, and it's an incredibly interesting and delicious appetizer.

What is Halloumi Cheese?

Here it is Halloumi. It's from Cyprus. It's made from sheep and goats milk, and because the curds are cooked before its shaped and soaked in a brine it actually doesn't melt when you fry it.

Prepare the Halloumi Cheese for Frying

We're going to cut some 3/8-inch slices. By the way that's dried mint that's traditionally packed with it. It was for helping the preserving process, but today it's just for decoration. We're going to throw that on a plate with 1/2 tsp of olive oil and give it a light brushing, because this is going to go in an extremely hot pan. I'm not kidding, extremely hot.

Sear the Cheese

We're going to sear that for 1 minute on the first side. Don't worry about the smoke, its only going to cook for a couple minutes. Open a window. After a minute, it's going to have a beautiful dark brown crust on it.

We're going to flip it over and now you have to be carefully. We're going to cook it for 1-2 minutes on the other side. You don't want to undercook it or it will still be firm, and you don't want to overcook it or the water will come out.

Test the Cheese

So, how we're going to test this is by poking it. Push it with the spatula and it should be a little bit soft, it's not melted, because it doesn't melt, but it gets a little springy before the water comes out of it.

By the way, if there is a little seam in the middle don't worry that's natural and all part of the show. Transfer to a serving platter. I don't speak Greek, but if I had to guess I would say Halloumi translates into something like, "I cant believe that cheese didn't melt when we fried it!" And, because it doesn't melt it makes a really, really great interesting appetizer.

Serve the Fried Halloumi Cheese

What I'm going to do here is serve it with some fresh black pepper, some cherry tomatoes that looks nice and tastes good with it, and some fresh herbs like mint - I had some oregano. Give it a little drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Very nice.

As far as favor goes its sort of a cross between mozzarella and feta. It's a little bit salty, that's why I didn't add any salt. I hope you experiment with that - a really interesting and unique appetizer. And, you can find that in your local cheese market. Anyway I hope you give it a try. Enjoy.

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