Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Halloumi Taco

I’m a Pinterest addict. There, I’ve said it. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. *Stretches, shakes off the old* Ahhh, that felt good. Now that I have that out of the way I can move on to the wonderful recipe I found on Pinterest! Pinterest is one of my favorite places to discover new foods and recipes. If you haven't tried it yet you should sign-up for an account today! See how I did that ;) *Muahahahahahaha*

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this pin. The pin originated from The Design Files Daily’s Tasty Tuesday Sandwich Club by Matt Wilkinson of Pope John.
Matt's recipe introduced me to a few new ingredients:
  • Halloumi cheese- A Cypriot gourmet cheese made from a mix of sheep's and goat's milk. It has a higher melting point than other cheese which makes it a WONDERFUL cheese for grilling and frying. OMG!!! When I discovered this I was immediately hooked! Plain halloumi is firm, salty and a bit rubbery; think thick feta. It has an odd texture uncooked, I wouldn't recommend to eat it this way. Cooked, the saltiness fades into a strong savory bite, with a slightly creamy texture. Now that's the stuff! Yummy!!!
  • Dukka- An Egyptian side dish consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, usually hazelnut, and spices. It is typically used as a dip with bread or fresh vegetables, and eaten as an hors d'œuvre.
  • Chilli jam- Um jam and chile? I’d never heard of it, but I was willing to give it a try. I didn't need to research this one, it was pretty straight forward. Jam= sweet. Chile= HOT!
Here’s the original recipe:
  • 2 Barham Avocados (reed variety)
  • 12 slices of halloumi
  • ½ bunch coriander (roots removed, then wash three times and pat dry)
  • 4 tsp Egyptian dukka
  • 4 tbsp Cunliffe & Waters tomato chilli jam
  • 8 slices Phillipa’s bakery wholewheat and honey bread
What I did differently:
  • I used Hass Avocados. 'Cause it hass to be hass! Too corny? Sorry, I just can’t help it sometimes!
  • I used spinach instead of cilantro (what Matt calls coriander). I forgot to pick some up so I worked with what I had on hand. I considered using basil but I worried the flavor would overtake the cheese.
  • Couldn't find Dukka in any store, so I skipped it. If I ever find it I will definitely use it, it may add an extra dimension of flavor to this recipe.
  • I used Tabasco: Spicy Pepper Jelly instead of Cunliffe & Waters tomato chilli jam. Sometimes you gotta work with what you can find at the supermarket. 'Nuff said.
  • Instead of sliced bread I used naan. I liked the idea of eating it like a taco.
Do whatcha' like. Follow the original recipe or follow mine or invent your own recipe. Your taste buds be your guide let.  Yes, hmmm. <(-_-)>

This was a really easy and super delicious meal, I would highly recommend you give it a try.

First I gathered my ingredients. Mise en place and all that jazz:

I then sliced the halloumi and, in a pan with a little oil, fried it.

I had a little help today. Now that's the way to cook, with a handsome man by your side!

While David fried the cheese I smashed the avocados in a bowl. If you don't know how to cut and peel an avocado see this tutorial. Season with salt and pepper. Go easy with the salt because this cheese is really salty. I also heated the naan 'a la tortilla style, straight on the burner of my gas stove. Just watch out when you flip them, they get really hot!

Once the naan is nice and warm I slathered on the smashed avocado, followed by some pepper jelly.

At that point the cheese was ready to go so I layered cheese on one side of the naan, spinach on the other. Taco style.
That's it. It's ready to go into your mouth!
Doesn't it look yummy? If you said yes, then you would be correct. Easy, yummy and totally different.

Lessons Learned
  • Have no food earlier in they day. You want as much room as possible in your tummy when you eat your halloumi sandwich. I could eat the fried cheese on it's own, it's that good. But the other ingredients take it to a whole 'nother level!
  • The pepper jelly wasn't too hot. David actually added Sriracha (what my sister-n-law calls cock sauce, due to the rooster on the bottle). It might be that another brand of chile jam or pepper jelly is spicier, so feel free to branch out a little and adjust accordingly.
  • Next time I will try it with cilantro, I think it might add a nice layer of flavor.
  • I've made this recipe twice and found that some brands of halloumi cheese are firmer than others. Try to use a firmer cheese. It makes the frying process much easier. If it's too soft it will melt away as you fry it. The brand I showed in the pic (Christis) fried really well. Also, don't slice your cheese too thin.
Off to Greece via my halloumi cheese taco. Now that's the way to travel!

No comments:

Post a Comment