When setting up a barbecue at home, either on open-air coals, or with indoor grills, it is worth taking the opportunity to get a little out of the most typical menu. The seductive world of cheese has some great varieties to grill or grill, completely changing its texture, flavor and aromas. And they will give us a lot of play when serving them, since they become a very versatile snack to combine with other foods.
That cheese gets along wonderfully with the heat is not something you need to delve too deeply into. We use it to gratin, melt in sauces or add creaminess and juiciness to all kinds of fillings, from pizza to cachopo, not forgetting fondue and raclette. And, although it is also delicious when cold, the most common resource in any house is to take advantage of the heat of other ingredients to let it melt a little, for example in hamburgers.
In the United States they are true fans of the so-called grilled cheese, which is nothing more than a white bread sandwich stuffed with cheese and cooked on the grill or grill, until melts well inside; a kind of bikini or mixed, without ham -although it can take many more ingredients-.
But today we do without bread to focus on the purest cheese, varieties that, due to their texture and composition, are ideal for cooking directly on the embers or its electrical equivalent. As a general rule, the whitest cheeses, uncured, with a firm textureThey are the ones that will offer us the best results on the grill, although there are also some very melting types that we can taste after going through the barbecue.
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Nine cheeses to make on the barbecue
This term actually encompasses a great variety of products different, some with their own name such as Burgos, ricotta or mozzarella. A fresh cheese is one that is consumed without going through maturation. It can be made with or without rennet, and have a more or less grainy texture.
But in our country, normally, we speak of fresh cheese to the most solid white, very soft and with a subtle flavor, slightly damp but it is preserved without serum. These cheeses, which can be made with cow, goat, sheep or mixed milk, are common in salads or to be eaten with quince paste, nuts and other fruits.
It is also perfect for cut into slices or slices or pass it through the grill or an iron, very hot. For best results, just press it gently between sheets of kitchen paper, letting it absorb the water, and paint it with a little oil. Let it brown to taste, until it caramelizes a little.
Thus, grilled fresh cheese is very traditional in tapas in many regions, and Murcia likes to serve it on sobrasada toast, as detailed in this recipe.
Very popular in Greek cuisine and increasingly gaining ground to the fame of feta, this delicious Cypriot cheese is one of the best we can throw on the grill. Halloumi is usually made with a sheep and goat milk mix and it falls into the category of fresh, unripened cheeses, with a very characteristic texture.
It is soft but elastic, with a somewhat fibrous and layered interior, reminiscent of mozzarella. It is stored in a brine with its own juices and for this reason it has a somewhat salty flavor, which can be somewhat strong naturally, but which softens when cooked.
It has the ability to keep its shape almost intact at high temperatures, without melting. In this way, we can cook it without fear with the grill very hot, marking and caramelizing its outer layers to achieve a delicious mix of contrasts of flavors and textures with the interior, creamy and fresh.
This semi-hard Italian cheese is one of the most appreciated for its melting capacity, delicious to enrich pasta sauces or prepare toasts, gratins, savory cakes and fillings of all kinds. On its own, provolone makes a very popular snack when melt directly in saucepans for dipping or spreading, and it is also widely consumed in Argentina with the so-called grilled provolone.
Presented in the form of discs, we can cook it directly on the grill and also on the barbecue, round and round, controlling the time very well so it doesn’t end up melting too much on the grill. It is advisable to choose a variety of good quality, extra hard, and we will need very high temperatures and be careful to turn the piece as soon as it begins to melt, and it must be consumed very hot.
Authentic Greek feta cheese is a highly versatile delicacy that lactose intolerant people can also consume – but only if it is truly authentic. Fresh and intense, with salty, acidic and sweet notes, it can be eaten cut into natural cubes, shredded or also cooked, for example with papillote.
But today we want to highlight its virtues by marking it on a good grill or griddle, giving different results to its cousin the halloumi, due to its grainy texture. You just have to be a little more careful when handling it so that it does not break, and for this it will help us to dry it with kitchen paper, extracting as much liquid as we can. We can also bread it, as in this recipe.
Paneer or panir cheese is a staple of Indian cuisine and is very present in many recipes, especially with vegetables, such as spinach. Fresh and smooth, it has a great ability to absorb the flavors and aromas of the ingredients with which it comes into contact, making it perfect for marinating or cook in sauce.
It is somewhat reminiscent of feta itself or our cottage cheese, but less grainy, firmer, halloumi-style. Offers an ideal consistency for cut it into cubes or cubes To cook it on the grill or over the embers of a grill, alone or forming skewers with meat and vegetables. To get an idea, it admits a treatment equivalent to firm tofu.
Camembert (or brie)
These two popular French cheeses (and lesser known ones such as * Coeur de Neufchâtel *) are extremely creamy by themselves, but its bark, the usual small format, allows us to play with them by applying heat to them with different preparations. Fried triangles, for example, are a vice that every good cheesemaker should try sometime.
In addition to allowing us to roast them directly in the oven, or wrap them in puff pastry, we can try to throw a whole piece, uncut, on the grill or on the grill of our barbecue. When the crust is well marked and let’s see that the interior begins to melt, it is time to take it out, cut it and enjoy a feast of exquisite creaminess to accompany vegetables.
Panela or white cheese
Panela cheese is a good representative of the Latin American cheese catalog, where fresh or called cheeses abound. white cheeses. Panela is a basket-shaped, uncured Mexican specialty made from pasteurized cow’s milk.
Like so many fresh cheeses, it has a very mild flavor and supports many seasonings that are easily absorbed. It is consumed naturally but it can also be cut into different shapes to cook it, thus accentuating its flavor and texture. It usually contains more water than the other cheeses mentioned here, requiring a bit more skill in handling, but it is worth trying it cooked on the grill.
With many different varieties, this cheese that we always associate with French cuisine and that is not lacking in the most common salads of any restaurant, is another good candidate to go through the heat of the embers. There are creamier and more solid, softer and more intense, but if we take advantage of its cortezto firm moldy we can cook it easily.
The whole roll will handle much better on a grill, and so we can serve it at the table by distributing it among the diners. Cut into medallions, unless it is extremely honeyed and sticky, it is also susceptible to cooking; forever it will be easier using an iron very hot.
Juustoleipä or Leipäjuusto
The call “bread cheese” It is a typical Finnish cheese also present in Sweden, which receives its nickname for the shape of a cake and for the way it is cooked and served. It is a fresh cheese made from goat, reindeer or cow’s milk, tender but firm, capable of maintaining its shape without problems when cooked with heat.
The usual is brown or caramelize its exterior to be served with fresh fruit, jam, honey, syrup, cream or sugar, although it also admits salty accompaniments. The traditional thing is to cook the discs in the oven until the outside is gratin and bubbly, and then serve it in triangles, which many Finns enjoy dipping in coffee.
Although it is still difficult to find in our country, it is worth trying. Instead of the oven, when time permits it is a perfect cheese to cook on an outdoor grill, on an electric grill or over coals, thus giving it a delicious smoky flavor. It only remains to decide if we are going to serve it as a garnish or dessert.
Photos | iStock – Pixabay – Jesse Gardner – Teemu Rajala – Pyb
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