Can You Freeze Halloumi? Tips to Freeze Halloumi
Halloumi is best served with grilled meat or kebabs. It has properties similar to that of cheese but it can also impart a crunchy taste upon cooking. This behavior of halloumi is often unique in comparison to other cheeses. What if you wish to freeze halloumi?
Well, the good news is you can freeze halloumi effectively for a long time without losing its flavor! Unlike other dairy products, halloumi performs exceptionally well in the freezer. You can freeze it using two easy methods which are discussed below.
Apart from giving an exquisite taste, halloumi has a rich amount of calcium in it. Thus, eating halloumi is beneficial for your bone development and muscle growth. Besides, it has a high melting point which makes it the best choice for grilling and cooking purposes.
How Can you Freeze Halloumi in the Freezer?
A freshly prepared salad served along with fried halloumi sounds like the best combination ever! You can also use halloumi as a side dish to go with grilled meat and steak. However, if you accidentally end up having more than the requisite amount of halloumi then here’s how to freeze it!
Freeze Halloumi Block
Yep, you heard that correctly. So, if you have an unopened tightly sealed block of halloumi then you can directly pop it into the freezer. However, if you have an extra block of halloumi follow these steps.
First of all, take long and clean cling film sheets. Wrap the halloumi block in the sheet tightly so that air won’t be able to enter it. Then wrap this block in the second layer of cling film to secure it tightly.
Now, shift this wrapped block into a clean airtight bag and squeeze out any excess amount of air. Drop the bag in the freezer and now you have a stock of halloumi for around six months in hand!
Freeze Sliced Halloumi
What should you do with leftover halloumi slices? Freeze them! Freezing slices of halloumi is a better alternative than storing the block version of it. You ask why? Well, because it becomes easy to manage the quantity when using it later on.
Start by slicing halloumi into thick and almost equal-sized pieces. Then, take a baking tray and line it with parchment paper. Place the halloumi slices on this tray so that they do not stick to each other. Now, drop this tray in the freezer for around three hours for flash freezing.
In the meantime, you can cut parchment paper into rectangular sizes, slightly long enough to wrap individual halloumi slices. Once three hours have elapsed, remove the tray from the freezer and you will have frozen halloumi slices ready.
Wrap these slices in parchment paper and stack them in freezer bags. Do not stuff the bags in layers or in a crowded manner. Or else, you will lose the texture of the halloumi. Now, transfer these bags into the freezer and freeze them.
Can you freeze halloumi fries or cooked halloumi cheese?
Yes, freezing cooked halloumi is also possible. You can freeze cooked version of them with the methods given above for upto three months.
How to Thaw Frozen Halloumi? Does Frozen Halloumi Taste Good?
Firstly, you must know that halloumi freezes particularly well in the freezer, unlike others. Therefore, as long as you are following these two methods of freezing halloumi you are less likely to see any damage.
But, if you do not defrost the halloumi slices of block properly then you might end up with bacterial contamination on them. Since halloumi is a type of cheese you should not hurry the process of thawing it. The steadier the better.
For thawing halloumi, you can remove the number of slices you will need for your recipe in a separate dish and allow it to thaw in the fridge for at least two days. If you wish to thaw an entire block of halloumi then do the same.
After two days, remove the slices and use them in your recipe. Do not thaw halloumi spontaneously in a microwave or at room temperature. If you directly start to warm up halloumi then you will end up creating a perfect environment for bacterial infections.
Also, you cannot refreeze halloumi because the temperature changes will disturb its texture eventually. Thus, it is better to freeze halloumi in the form of slices or the form of small blocks as per your use.
Duration for Freezing Halloumi
Halloumi is also known as Cypriot Cheese and is mainly prepared from a mixture of milk from goats and sheep. Often people also add cow milk to the recipe. Surprisingly, unlike other varieties of cheese which break in cold temperatures, halloumi can last long.
Halloumi stays in the freezer for six months effectively. But, if you follow the freezing tips given in the further section effectively then you can store it in the freezer for a year! So, it will be great if you can store it in the freezer in batches so that you can use them as per your recipe.
However, if you open the seal of frozen halloumi then you must use it within two weeks. Do not use it after two weeks as there are chances of loss of texture and bacterial growth on it.
Tricks for Freezing Halloumi
Now, that you are well aware of the freezing process and duration of freezing for Halloumi. Follow these quick suggestions to prevent any damage of the same.
1. Do not freeze cooked halloumi. As discussed earlier, halloumi is the only variety of cheese that can leave a crunchy taste on cooking. Thus, if you freeze cooked halloumi then you will ultimately destroy the crunchiness of the same. As a result, you will get a smooth and mushy version of cooked halloumi. Therefore, freeze uncooked halloumi for preventing loss of texture.
2. Always seal the halloumi block in double cling films and further pack it in airtight bags. Do not pack halloumi blocks loosely or else they will get oxidized in the freezer and go bad. Make sure you add appropriate labels to the bags so that you can use them effectively.
3. When freezing halloumi slices, remove the excess air from the bag and try not to leave any trace of air in the bag. Make sure you seal the bags airtight.
Halloumi has a high-calorie value along with abundant calcium levels as well. Thus, if you freeze halloumi you are saving a lot of meals for future use. Plus, you can use it for treats and parties as a side dish. Follow these methods of freezing for the best results.