Halloumi with Chilli
I love grilled or fried halloumi, that squeaky, salty, polystyrene-textured sheep’s-milk cheese. Not a very seductive way of describing it maybe, but that, indeed, is what it’s like. You should have no difficulty finding it in cheese shops, Turkish or Greek markets or specialty shops. This is easy to make. You don’t need to do it at the very last minute, but don’t fry the halloumi so far in advance that it’s totally cooled by the time it comes to the table. And if you prefer, by all means broil it. And again, this is the sort of food that you can sit on the table for people idly to eat as they stand around, drink in hand. It looks beautiful, too, which is always an aid to proceedings. If you must, use another cheese such as Munster, Fontina, Gruyere or raclette.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCocktail Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecheesy, hot & spicy, salty, savory
- 2 tablespoons chopped, seeded fresh red chiles (about 2 medium chillies)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 18 ounces halloumi , sliced medium-thin (i.e., just under ¼ inch)
- Juice of ¼ lemon
Mix the chopped chilli and olive oil in a small bowl or cup and leave the flavors to deepen while you cook the cheese. I use a nonstick frying pan for this, without any oil, and just give the cheese slices about 2 minutes a side until they’re golden brown in parts. When all the slices of halloumi are cooked, transfer them to a couple of small plates. Give the chilli oil a stir, spoon it over the cheese, then give a spritz of lemon. That’s all there is to it.
2002 Nigella Lawson