There is an almost unbearable smugness that comes with frying up a piece of home made halloumi. It might be a bit of work, but the satisfaction and the cheese is completely worth the journey.
A couple of weekends ago, I roped in my best friend Coco into a day of cheese making. She is more adventurous than I when it comes to cheese, but we have a mutual love of squeaky cheese or halloumi.
As a virgin cheesemaker, I didn’t have a single specialty item I needed to make cheese, so instead of buying each new item on it’s own, I opted for the easy way out and bought a Mad Millie Fresh Cheese kit. There are several kits available, but for me, the fresh cheese kit meant quick results so fresh cheese it was. The fresh cheese kit also makes feta, quark, cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta. It’s not cheap at $70NZ but the items soon add up when bought individually and at least I knew I have all required pieces. The only extra items I needed but didn’t aleady have were 4 litres of unhomogenised milk, a large stockpot and a container to use as a bain-marie.
4 litres + 1 cup of milk yielded six pieces of halloumi and a small portion each of ricotta which is a by product of halloumi. Money-wise, it’s great value if you don’t take into account the cheese making kit. It’s quite exhausting making something for the first time as it’s reading instructions, re-reading and second guessing yourselves and I would recommend doing it with a friend. It’s always good to have more than 1 pair of hands. Besides, what is one person going to do with 6 pieces of halloumi? I jest! I jest! I know exactly what I’d do with six pieces of halloumi.
Hopefully next time will be much easier. I’m also keen to make cream cheese and mozzarella now too. Yum.
My favourite way of serving halloumi is to pan fry it and then lay it on top of rocket and toast with a drizzle balsamic reduction.
My recipe for balsamic reduction makes enough for two but you can easily multiply the ingredients to make more. I always make just enough balsamic reduction for the meal at hand because I don’t see the point in making a big batch to use up slowly. It’s easy enough to whip up on demand.
As well as halloumi, balsamic reduction also goes well with eggs benedict or roast vegetables that have a little sweetness to them like roasted beets, kumara (sweet potato), onion or brussels sprouts.
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of sugar (brown or white)
- In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to the boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer until it is reduced by about half. Do not let it boil dry.
- Add sugar and simmer, stirring frequently until all the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is thick and dark. It will thicken up as it cools so use it quickly.
P.S. if you’re wondering why there are no photos of the ricotta or the bacon and pea pasta I made with it, well that’s a first world problem.