Guess who is back with fully functioning Internet?! It is me! To celebrate, I am getting back into blogging. I have a lot of cool things planned for March. I’ve also decided to start a new little series called “My Favourite Way to Make” which is kind of what it sounds like. I’m just going to share my favourite way to prepare every day foods. Nothing fancy. Just good old staples. I think it’s cool to see what people eat on a day-to-day basis, and discover new flavour combinations.
First up: halloumi. Before moving to the UK, I’d never even heard of it. It is a salty cheese with a high melting point and a structure that lends itself to squeaking. This makes it very similar to the cheese curds we use for poutine in Canada. At first, that is what I used it for, before discovering its many uses.
During my Lebanese cooking phase, I was a bit lazy and fried the halloumi for my salad in the recently used chicken pan. That evening, a taste sensation was born! And now I replicate this whenever I want a salty, crispy snack (as you can probably guess, celiacs do not get to eat deep fried food very often… and even though this isn’t deep fried, it has that ~feel~).
It’s very quick, very delicious and very easy!
I start by heating some oil in a pan, then adding some chili paste (I picked up some from Sainsburys). The photo shows 2tsp, but I usually like a bit more of a kick. It really depends on how much of a chili spice you enjoy!
While this is heating up, I slice the halloumi. You want it so it’s not so thin that you cannot flip it without it breaking, but thin enough that everything is going to get warm without burning the outside.
I pop them into the pan. Then it is time for spices. I throw in some garlic, of course, because everything is better with garlic. And a bit of black pepper and paprika. Do not add salt. The cheese is salty enough on its own. I imagine adding salt would make this taste awful. I am quite a big fan of salt and halloumi on its own can often be a bit much for me.
The real star of the spice show here is cumin. I don’t know about you guys, but I rarely use cumin. But I became a bit addicted after aforementioned Lebanese cooking spree. I really just sprinkle a ton on. It is such an interesting flavour.
And… that’s it, really. Just wait for it to fry up, turning occasionally, until the cheese is a golden brown. You may need to add a bit more oil to the bottom of the pan because the liquid you see above will evaporate.
Personally, while it is rather nice hot, I prefer to let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes after removing it from the pan, so the outside becomes a bit cooler and crunchy, while the inside is still a bit warm. Yum.
So, that is my take on a very simple staple food! Let me know your favourite way to prepare halloumi if you have one!