At the culture office, we get excited about grilling season for perhaps a slightly unusual reason. Sure, all the steaks and hot dogs are delicious on the grill, but what about the cheese? Melty, rich, and creamy cheeses can be an excellent addition to all your grilled meals, or even be the star of the show (you know they are at our barbecues). But how do you grill with cheese without making a mess of your grill grates?
First, the obvious answer: stuff cheese in other foods. Blogger Whitney Bond of Little Leopard Book takes a truly inspiring approach with her Sriracha Steak Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers. Bond says, “While this dish definitely screams ‘Man Food’ and is perfect for grilling up for Father’s Day, I loved it just as much as my manly neighbors, also known as my taste testers, also known as the luckiest men alive, haha!” The heat gets the cream cheese, pepper jack, and bacon filling ooey gooey, but the steak keeps it from oozing all over your grate. Sounds like a dish that pleases everyone, no?
If you prefer a milder dish to get your cheese fix, try stuffing cream cheese and blue cheese into a burger patty and see what happens. (Hint: You’ll never eat a regular burger again.) Or test out feta and mozzarella stuffed in a chicken breast for a mid-summer Mediterranean feast. But please make sure your meat is cooked all the way through with a meat thermometer (we suggest this bluetooth version, which sends the temperature to your smartphone).
For those truly dedicated to barbecuing cheese, ditch all the extras and cook just the cheese (yep, it’s possible!). Try grilling cheese, a common ingredient in Italian and Greek cuisine which won’t melt thanks to its high heat tolerance. Instead, it forms a toasty brown crust which further develops its flavor. Intrigued? Haloumi and Juustoleipä are excellent options as well. Or, invest in the Barbeclette, a handy accessory that allows you to melt slices of any cheese and cleanly scrape it out, providing a delicious blanket for just about anything.
However you choose to grill with cheese, don’t forget golden rule: sip on the perfect summer beer to keep you cool.
Photo by The Macaw