Fried Halloumi, native to Cyprus, may be the only food where the word "squeaky" comes up when people are describing this unique cheese. Halloumi is traditionally made from goat and sheep's milk, and is similar to a mozzarella, but denser, saltier, and…squeakier. Let me explain.
What makes Halloumi unusual is it's very high melting point. Because of how the curd is heated, then brined and pressed, the cheese can be fried without melting. This makes for a very cool appetizer or meze, as they would call it in Cyprus. This video recipe I did for About.com shows my favorite way of preparing Halloumi. I think it's best when seared in a very hot pan, nice and brown, and then drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Oh, and about this "squeakiness;" when you bite into the warm, fried cheese, it makes a slight squeak against your teeth. I find the sound and sensation oddly addictive. But, that's just part of the fun - the firm texture, and salty flavor, work great with the sweet balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Before you send me the "but, where do I find Halloumi cheese?" comments and emails, I'll tell you it's quite common in any high-end chain grocery store that has a cheese department (which they all do). So get some Halloumi, and get your squeak on. Enjoy!
Click here for the transcript and ingredients.