What to do with Halloumi Cheese?
As the ads say..."the cheese that grills". How weird is this stuff?
I made it once after a friend told me about it. Buy it, slice it, flour it, fry it in a pan. It's pretty good, but I want to see how others prepare it. Any tricks to grilling it? What do you serve with it?
At a Cypriot restaurant, we had halloumi broken into small chunks and sprinkled on watermelon slices, for a refreshing summer appetizer. A Lebanese friend suggested grilling or frying it and serving in pita with cucumbers, lettuce and tomato for a fresh twist on grilled cheese.
I give it a light saute in blood orange olive oil and serve on baguette round with a sprinkling of fresh oregano.
There's a restaurant here in Tucson that makes a grilled halloumi sandwich. I call it a grilled cheese for sophisticated grown ups. It's on the menu at Feast.
It's popular in South Africa, too. For breakfast, I cut it into thin rectangles, put it on a baking tray and slide it under the broiler for five minutes. You can flip them and do the other side if you want, though I don't always bother. Then I serve it to vegetarians instead of bacon.
Great served with salad, and with sweet chili dipping sauce.
For those who say it's too salty - try a different brand. Some are certainly saltier/rubberier/crumblier than others.
I *love* haloumi cheese! I have a Cuisinart Griddler (rather like a high-end Foreman grill in that it has two grilling surfaces and it opens and closes like a panini grill), and I often make this marinated vegetables, sausages, and haloumi cheese. Here's my recipe:
Grilled Vegetables, Sausages, Tofu, and Haloumi Cheese
Mix and match the vegetables, and be sure to use interesting sausages. The timings in this recipe are specifically geared for a Cuisinart Griddler. Revised 4/08, adding tofu.
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon white wine Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons mirin (unseasoned rice wine), divided
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon mace (no more!)
8 grates of nutmeg (no more!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, rubbed between your palms
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium red onion, quartered and separated into layers.
2 medium poblano peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and halved lengthwise, seeded if desired
10 ounces very large white mushrooms, quartered
1 medium-small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium-small yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into 3/4-inch logs
4-8 nice fat pork sausages, raw, not chicken
A 6-8-ounce wedge of haloumi cheese, rinsed well and patted dry,
Sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
In a medium glass measure, whisk together the garlic, balsamic, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of the mirin, red pepper flakes, mace, nutmeg, oregano, and black pepper.
In a 1-cup glass measure, whisk together the mustard, the remaining 2 tablespoons of mirin, the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil, and the Tabasco sauce.
Place the broccoli florets in a sealable plastic bag. Pour 1/4 cup of the first marinade into the bag and toss to coat well. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as you can.
Place the onions and peppers in a second sealable plastic bag. Pour 1/4 cup of the first marinade into the bag and toss to coat well. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as you can.
Place the mushrooms, zucchini, and squashes in a third sealable plastic bag. Pour in what remains of the first marinade and toss to coat well. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as you can.
Place the tofu in a fourth sealable bag. Pour in the second marinade and gently toss to coat well. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as you can.
Let all the vegetables and the tofu marinate for at least 1/2 hour at room temperature. Heat the oven to 250 degrees, and have a 2 1/2-quart gratin at the ready. Heat the two-sided grill to high (not “sear”). Prick the sausages several times on both sides and grill them, whole, for 6 minutes, more or less, depending on how fat the sausages are, turning once. Test the largest sausage for pinkness by slicing it in half crosswise. When the sausages are done, transfer them to the gratin and to the oven. (The sausages lubricate the grill beautifully, and lend additional flavor to the vegetables, so it’s best to start with them.)
Place the broccoli on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 3 minutes, until tender-crisp. If you’ve got room on the grill, do the onions and peppers at the same time. Go with the flow. When that batch is done, add the vegetables to the gratin and return it to the oven.
Place the onions and peppers on the grill, brush with marinade, close the lid, and grill for 3 minutes. Add to the gratin and return the gratin to the oven.
In two batches, if necessary, place the mushrooms and zucchini on the grill and close the lid. Grill for 2 minutes per batch. Add to the gratin. Transfer the mushrooms and zucchini to the oven gratin.
Grill the haloumi slices for about 1 minute, until dark grill marks appear on the cheese. Remove the gratin from the oven, slice the sausages (if desired) and toss them with the vegetables. Drape the haloumi cheese slices over all. Return the gratin to the oven.
Finally, grill the tofu for 2 minutes, or just until grill marks appear on the surfaces. Transfer the tofu to the gratin and bring the gratin right to the table.
Yield: 4 servings
First had this in Australia at a sheep farm on Kangaroo Island.....and I still prepare it the way they served it to us.....pan fried till brown and slightly crisp on the outside (I use the smallest amount of oil but I don't think they used any!) and just before removing squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chunks and sprinkle with dried oregano....serve with toothpicks....big hit!
I agree the flour is unnecessary, but I do use a tiny amount of olive oil in the pan. I also toss it in a tiny amount of olive oil to grill it.
I love it for breakfast with a piece of toast (made out of nice bread) and some stone fruits like plums, or some fresh berries. The fruits make a nice contrast to the salty cheese. Very pleasant!