Halloumi is a magic cheese with a stubborn streak. When exposed to extreme temperatures it simply refuses to melt!
Instead, it retains its firm shape and develops a beautiful crisp exterior with just the right amount of internal gooeyness. Originating from Cyprus, this squeaky, tangy, somewhat salty cheese is made from a combination of sheep and goat's milk.
It is wonderfully versatile and can be grilled or fried within minutes, making it the ideal choice for an appetizer or quick snack. It also works well as a meat alternative and is a great accompaniment to a couscous or lentil salad. Delicious!
For something simple serve halloumi sliced and grilled with nothing more than some freshly squeezed lemon juice. For something fancy try today's dish inspired by a recipe from BBC Good Food. I changed the ingredients and cooking method slightly and found that the new variation of flavours complimented each other beautifully.
Makes 4 Parcels
200g block Halloumi cut into 4 slices
4 coloured peppers
4 18" pieces of kitchen string that have been soaked in water for 20 minutes
1 tbls olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbls) plus 1 tsp zest
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
Mix the marinade ingredients together thoroughly and pour over the halloumi slices. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 24 hours.
Place peppers (whole) in a 450F preheated oven. Roast until just soft enough to wrap around the cheese. About 25-30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so. When cool enough to handle, make a cut down the side of each pepper to open it out. The skin can easily be removed at this point, if preferred.
Remove seeds and trim into neat strips. Place a slice of halloumi in the center of each strip then carefully wrap the pepper around it.
Tie each one with the kitchen string.
The parcels can now be refrigerated for up to 2 hours. When ready to serve, place parcels under a preheated broiler or grill for about 3-4 minutes per side or until the cheese begins to soften and brown at the ends. Serve immediately. Garnish with pretty herbs like mint or thyme.
Note: If you're short on time, skip the peppers and just grill the cheese on it's own, basting frequently with the marinade. You could always top with some roasted red peppers from a jar mixed with a few olives or herbs!