Grilling cheese from Cyprus
Does anybody know the traditional accompiments to the grilling cheese of Cyprus. I found the Halloumi brand in my local market today. I know I can just grill it and serve with some bread, but are there some tradtional uses?
in olive oil, fry slices with your eggs, dried olives and a lamb chop for a hearty breakfast.
add as cubes to soup or to guel.
serve plain on the side with a salad for lunch.
many imitations exist on the market. traditionally it is made and eaten fresh, from goat and sheep's milk. a true halloumi is sun dried so that it can be sprinkled on noodles as one would do with a fine parmesan to pastas. in this dried state it can last for years, and on a farm it is a practical foodsource because it will not spoil. it is added to breads to make then fancy, as in the famous cheese bread (with mint) which is prepared at easter in Cyprus.
The one I picked up is sheeps milk and the brand is Shephards of Cyprus. I assumed that Halloumi was the brand because it has the trademark (R in a circle) symbol after Halloumi on that package. I assume that Cyprus has registered it as a type of cheese, but the package does not say so.
I usually fry halloumi cheese in a bit of olive oil, served with olives warm flatbread wedges and hummus. I have also taken the warm fried cheese and made a sandwich with tomato, cucumber, olives etc....
This stuff has a nice salty flavor, I really enjoy it.
I like to fry slices of it in a grill pan and serve in a pita with some sauteed peppers and onions, topped with chili sauce. It's sort of like a veggie kebab.
Nigella Lawson has a recipe for a Double Potato Haloumi bake that I've always wanted to make. It calls for potatoes and sweet potatoes.
I keep meaning to make that Nigella recipe too. She has one in her new book for halloumi with roasted peppers and merguez sausage that also sounds good.
There's a delicious, simple recipe on the Food Network site _ Bobby Flay, I think _ for halloumi with fresh oregano and lemon juice. I love the stuff.
this is my first post to a food board and i thought i would help out on this issue since i am from cyprus.
Traditionally you can have it with cold meats like ham or lountza (a cypriot style coppa meat). That is if you still eat meat... :(
Cucumber and tomatoes pieces would go nicely... i do not know about olives... since they are also salty too it may be salt overkill...
btw, halloumi is not a brand, it is the name of the cheese (a popular brand is Pittas).
On warm summer nights you will also find cypriots eating halloumi (not fried) with watermelon (and melon)... try it...
I would avoid the humous too since humous can be a very intense flavor which would cover most everything, especially the subtler flavor of halloumi... put humous on your left overs, not on expensive cheese :)
I agree with Rwarrior about the traditional uses but for the record almost no one, even in cyprus sun dries the halloumi any more, and i personally do not like it that way... i do not know what imitations he is referring to either as i have not seen any...
Glad halloumi is being discovered in the US... i am waiting for the discovery of Trahana soup next :)
On another and different note, why do bakeries in the US offer such poor quality? Is it that you need love and attention to make something soft and the lifestyle here does not allow/appreciate it? Has anyone been in a bakery in europe? they have warm, soft products with lots of filling... not crappy, crispy and glazed products... is it just california? what a disappointment...
Thanks to all who responded! It has helped me to plan a great greeting for my kids who will be returning from college next weekend!
Cypriot welcome to the board and thanks to responding to my post. Yes I still eat meat. I thought Holloumi is a brand since it has the circled R trademark after the name, Maybe Cyprus has registered it as an import item. I first tried this cheese at the Fancy Food Show in New York last July and immediately fell in love.
I agree with you about the discovery of halloumi in the US. I feel the same way about the Swiss Raclette. It needs to be discovered in the US. I am not familiar with Trahana soup, but will search it out not that you have mentioned it.
I agree with your comments with bakeries in the US. I have spent some time in various parts of Europe and agree that we, unfortunately, do not have access to such bakeries in the US. I have taken to baking bread at home to get as close as I can to the European experience. However, the flour and other ingredients are also different so it is hard to replicate.
I love the European hotel breakfest with some great bread, cheese, cured meats, yogurt, fruit, maybe a hard boiled egg. Very hard to duplicate in the US since our ingredients are not the same.
Im also from Cyprus and cant recommend the eating of Halloumi with watermelon enough. The saltiness of the cheese with the sweetness of the watermelon is great.
I actually just came back from Cyprus and brought some Trahana with me. Not sure if i was allowed to, but it is so damn good and you just cant get it here.