Blistered Tomato and Cheese Skewers with Balsamic Glaze and Basil Oil
By Robyn Lindars of GrillGirl.com
Photos by Clay Goswick for Masterbuilt
They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions. After searching for halloumi, the grilling cheese that hails from Cyprus with no luck, I decided to try its less expensive cousin, Queso de Freir, and magic happened. While Queso de Freir is usually used for frying in many Latin dishes because of its high melting point, this same attribute makes it great for grilling, much like halloumi. And what is more exciting than grilled cheese on a stick? Discovering that they sell it at Walmart on the cheap, with the added bonus that EVERYONE loves this recipe!
By simply slicing the cheese and putting them onto skewers, you end up with the most amazing cheese on a stick that magically transforms when it hits the grill. Pairing the grilled cheese with blistered tomatoes and an arugula salad elevates this dish, but it is great with just the grilled cheese and a drizzle of balsamic if you are looking to streamline for tailgating. The sweetness of the balsamic glaze pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the cheese making each bite an epic sensory experience.
Robyn Lindars is the “GrillGirl” behind GrillGirl.com and GrillGirlr Magazine, available on newsstands nationally. Robyn is a recipe developer, content creator and publisher who encourages women to get behind the grill. She just launched a craft BBQ rub and cocktail rimmer called “Sunshine State of Mind” with notes of Kaffir lime, granulated honey, Himalayan salt and coriander. She has 12 grills and counting. Robyn is a Florida gal, but was born in Tupelo, MS. Give her a follow on Instagram or Facebook.
Blistered Tomato and Cheese Skewers Ingredients:
1 16-oz. packet Queso de Freir (available in the Latin section at your local grocery store)
1 large bunch of basil
1 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 cups arugula
¼ cup high heat cooking oil such as peanut or avocado for coating the grill grates
Slice Queso de Freir into ½ inch thick squares and place on pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Thread the tomatoes on the skewers or use a grill pan.
With a stick or immersion blender, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic to form a puree.
Prepare the grill for medium direct heat, about 350 degrees. Using a paper towel or a brush, coat the grill grates with a bit of oil so the cheese does not stick.
Grill the skewers until char marks have formed, flipping once char marks have been achieved on the first side.
Remove from the grill once char marks have been obtained. Place the cheese on a bed of arugula and add the tomatoes to the arugula salad. Drizzle the salad and tomatoes with the basil oil and then add a touch of balsamic glaze over the cheese skewers.