I've always wondered about the cheese simply labeled "Grilling Cheese" that I often see in the Mexican cheese section at the grocery. I'm quite familiar with halloumi, the hard Greek cheese that grills or fries up to be deliciously salty and squeaky—so is this grilling cheese like that, only less expensive and more prolific? I finally bought a package to find out.
I grilled the cheese as I would halloumi, cutting it into 1/2-inch slices and grilling it over medium-high heat on very well oiled grates. As the package promised, this grilled exceedingly well, blistering and browning beautifully, softening slightly, but remaining firm enough to hold its shape and be manageable. But the flavor was comparatively weak. While my benchmark of halloumi is salty with an interesting texture, this cheese was somewhat flavorless with a fine, semi-creamy texture that's pleasing, but not incredibly exciting.
So the cheese needed a lift, and it came in taco form. I piled the grilled cheese slices into warm corn tortillas, topped with an avocado slice and some spicy pico de gallo—that's when I started seeing this cheese in a totally different light.
The warm, softened cheese made for a fine taco filling, providing the main heft, while the avocado and salsa did most of the work on the flavor. It was a quick and easy taco that will be in my Cinco de Mayo party line-up right along with al pastor and skirt steak fajitas.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.