Cheese that goes “BOING”

I just discovered that Cotija cheese doesn’t melt. Can’t melt. Won’t melt. I was hungry for a grilled cheese sandwich, so I dug out the Cotija, which I normally use to grate over pureed black beans (my beau likes these — says they remind him of his medical missions to Veracruz). Anyway I sliced some up, and the texture of it made me curious. It has that spongy, tight, curdy texture like Halloumi, the Middle-Eastern cheese that you can grill like fajitas and it’ll practically bounce off the countertop like rubber. So instead of putting the Cotija on bread, I buttered a skillet and put it in there. Little slabs of it about 1/4″ thick. And you know what? It turned the most gorgeous golden-brown color. I flipped it and did the other side. Then I ate it, and it was buttery salty heaven.

So I guess I got my grilled cheese. But it started me thinking of other ways you could serve grilled Cotija — which, although not as interesting or exotic as Halloumi, costs about three times less. It’s a popular Mexican cheese down here. I haven’t tested any recipes yet but here are my ideas:

Lime-garlic marinated Cotija, fire grilled with peppers and onions
tortilla-crusted fried Cotija
Cotija french fries with habanero ketchup
Cotija ‘croutons’ for salad
olive-oil cured Cotija with tomatoes, fresh oregano and lime juice

Now for the bad news. Cotija has 120 calories per ounce, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 480 milligrams of salt. So let me add one last recipe idea to the list, just to round out the cast:

Fried Cotija with chocolate fudge sauce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s