Monday, 2 March 2015

Grilled Halloumi with a Smoked Paprika Crust

I think halloumi is great fun - a cheese that doesn't melt!

  - so you can fry it, kebab it or cook it on an open grill on a barbecue - It's the perfect option for a vegitarian dish at a barbi!!

Surprisingly, many people still don't know about halloumi cheese, even thought you can easily buy it at most supermarkets, and they are always shocked when they see cheese cooking on a kebab and keeping it's shape!

Halloumi is a a semi-hard cheese from Cyprus. It's an unripened brine cheese made from a mixture of goat's and ewe's milk  - and it has a high melting point  - which is why it can so easily be fried or grilled. This cheese is very rubbery in texture and slices easily, although it can split when cut, and it's very salty. When I buy halloumi I like to look for the one that has mint leaves in the brine - I think it adds a nice fresh taste - although you could add your own if you can only buy the plain variety.

The way I usually cook halloumi is to fry it - and it makes a quick and easy supper dish.

You can simply fry plain slices of the cheese in a dry nonstick pan - which it the traditional way to cook this cheese - and finish with a good drench of lemon juice before serving. In Cyprus they bring the fried cheese to the table in the pan it was cooked with large wedges of lemon for the guests to add.

Tessa Kiros has a simple recipe for this in her book Falling Cloudberries - one of my favourite cook books....

So here's my way of cooking fried halloumi - it's very quick and easy.......

You will need half a block of halloumi per person - plain or minted is fine.
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
some black pepper
olive oil
non-stick pan.

A prepared green salad to serve - with maybe some bread to mop up any flavours left on your plate! (See my recipe towards the end of this post for my dressed green salad.)

Place your flour, paprika and black pepper on a plate and mix together. 

Blot off any excess moisture from your halloumi and then cut into 1cm size slices.

Dust each side of your slices in the flour mixture and set to one side.

Now heat a good dollop of olive oil in your non-stick pan and add your cheese.

 You will only need to fry each side for about a minute - so when you add your last slice, the first slice you put in the pan will probably be ready for turning.

When you have fried off all the cheese serve immediately with some freshly cut lemon and a green salad.

I served my fried halloumi with a simple cucumber and green leaf salad dressed in lemon & olive oil ......

In a jar add juice of a lemon with a few chilli flakes, salt & pepper and equal quantity of olive oil. Pop the lid on and shake until it has all mixed.....

Slice a cucumber and spring onion, mix with some baby salad leaves, place on a plate and dress with the salad oil. Add your halloumi to the pale and serve - with maybe some herby olive bread.

Have a great start to your week

Love Lizx