Halloumi, often called Squeaky Cheese, originated in Cyprus. Now a lot of other nations make it as well.
It can be made with sheep’s, goat’s or cow’s milk and it keeps for a long time.
Originally, mint leaves were wrapped round it as they helped to preserve it, and Halloumi often still has chopped mint on the outside.
Halloumi has a distinctive salty flavour as it’s preserved in brine. Anyone who wants a less salty taste can just rinse the block of cheese under the tap!
Vegetarians love it because when it’s cooked, it tastes a bit like bacon.
01Although Elf ‘n Safety wouldn’t approve, Halloumi is preserved in brine in the packet, and it will keep for a couple of weeks without refrigeration – unopened of course – as long as you don’t leave it in your car in a heatwave! So it’s great for caravanning, camping, picnics, etc.
I discovered it about 20 years ago from my friends at High Weald Dairy in Sussex and I’ve used it regularly ever since!
This is a selection of recipes that I’ve picked up on my travels, plus some created by me.
Enjoy!

MUSHROOM & CREAM CHEESE SOUP WITH HALLOUMI
Serves 4-6. It’s a rich soup

A wedge of Halloumi, in small cubes
A knob of butter
A dash of Olive Oil
2 onions, chopped
Approx 500g mushrooms, shopped
A button of Garlic & Herb Slipcote
A button of Plain Slipcote
A Vegetable Stock Cube, dissolved in approx 1 pint hot water
Seasoning (go easy & taste the soup as Halloumi contains salt)
Extra mushrooms, sliced.
2-3 tblsps Yoghurt

Dry-fry the Halloumi until golden-brown & slightly crisp.
Remove it from the pan.
Melt the butter & add the oil. Slowly fry the onions until transparent.
Add the mushrooms. Fry.
Add the Halloumi, cheeses & stock cube in hot water.
Stir until the cheeses have melted. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring it to stop it burning.
Blitz the soup with a hand-mixer until smooth.
Add the yoghurt & as many sliced mushrooms as you like. Simmer again for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
Add more hot water if necessary to thin down the soup a bit.
The Halloumi gives the soup a delicious bacony flavour.

HARISSA-STYLE DRESSING FOR HALLOUMI & COUSCOUS
Ingredients
110ml extra virgin olive oil
1 rounded teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tblsp ground cumin
2 heaped tblsps of tomato puree
4 tblsps lime juice (approx 2 limes)

Method
Simply whisk up all the ingredients in a bowl and pour into a serving jug. The dressing will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week.

HALLOUMI-STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Beat 2 eggs together, add half a pack of grated Halloumi and some pepper. finely diced tomatoes, a little cumin, dried mint, and chopped garlic. Use this mixture as a filling for some large mushrooms. Bake in a hot oven (220’C) for 5 minutes

HALLOUMI CHIPS
I tblsp plain flour
1 level tsp curry powder.
Approx 4ozs (110gms) Halloumi.
Cooking oil
Mix the flour and curry powder in a plastic bag without holes.
Cut the Halloumi into chunky chips. Place them into the flour mix & shake the bag until they’re well-coated.
Fry them until golden, for about 5 minutes.
Serve as a snack, or with a salad.

03LEMON HALLOUMI
Generous knob of butter
Cubed Halloumi
Juice of 1 lemon, fresh or bottled.
Seasoning
Parsley, chopped.
Heat the butter until melted.
Add the chopped Halloumi. Cook until heated through, turning it regularly.
Pour the lemon juice over the top. Heat through for several minutes, again turning the Halloumi in the juice.
Season and stir in the chopped parsley.
Serve hot.

HALLOUMI KEBABS

Cut a block of Halloumi into quite large cubes. Thread onto a skewer interspersed with cherry tomatoes, green peppers, olives and mushrooms. Place under the grill or over the barbecue until golden brown. Serve with a salad or brown rice.

HALLOUMI CHEESE SALAD

Prepare a salad using fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives and diced apple, freshly chopped mint and a vinaigrette dressing. Dice a pack of Halloumi cheese in to cubes and lightly dry fry in a non stick pan to a golden brown. Toss onto the salad and serve immediately.
NB Toss the diced apple in the dressing at once to stop it turning brown.

Chupe de pollo

This recipe was given to me by Lesley Brown, who works for Historic Scotland.

Thinly chop some onions (1 medium sized will do) and place in a small amount of water with chicken breasts (I tend to go for one per person but it is quite a lot) Bring to the boil. When chicken is cooked take out of water to cool, add cubed potatoes and cook until soft. Flake chicken and add to pan with some milk. Add creamed corn and heat. Last add some grated Feta or Halloumi. (because of the cheese it is best not to add any salt earlier in the process)

It looks really beige when you serve it but with crusty bread it is lovely and really excellent on a cold night. It is also wonderfully filling.
• Chupe is a stew with meat and potatoes.
• It’s Chilean/Peruvian cuisine.

Gordon Ramsay’s Scallops with Halloumi, Caper and Raisin Vinaigrette

05Sweet scallops and salty Halloumi create the perfect balance for a delicious and light seafood dish, which was shown on the F Word on the TV, using High Weald Dairy’s Halloumi made by Gordon at the Dairy.
Serves 4

Ingredients
250g Halloumi (preferably made from sheep’s milk)
8 large fresh scallops, roe removed
50g plain flour, seasoned with a little salt and black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
150g panko breadcrumbs
1-2 tbsp olive oil for frying
NB Panko is Japanese breadcrumbs, available from supermarkets & speciality shops.
If you can’t find any, grate breadcrumbs on the largest size of your grater and dry them in the oven.
Method:
How to make Gordon’s scallops with Halloumi, caper and raisin vinaigrette
1. To prepare the vinaigrette, pour the water into a small saucepan, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil briefly. Add the capers and sultanas to the pan and return to the boil. Tip into a blender or food processor, add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and blend to a puree. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Cut the Halloumi into thin slices (approximately 1cm thick). Select a round cutter that is a slightly smaller than the size of the scallops and use to cut out 16 rounds of Halloumi.
3. Slice the scallops horizontally into 2 equal disks (approximately 1cm thick). Select three similar sized shallow dishes. Transfer the seasoned flour into one, the beaten eggs into another and the breadcrumbs into the last dish. Dip the scallops first into the seasoned flour, then the egg and lastly into the breadcrumbs, ensuring that they are evenly coated.
4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the Halloumi to the pan and season with black pepper. Cook for a minute before turning. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side (the breadcrumbs help prevent the scallops from overcooking).
5. Remove the scallops and Halloumi from the pan and drain off the excess oil by resting on kitchen paper. The Halloumi should be crisp and a light golden brown with a melting centre.
6. To serve, divide the scallops between four plates. Top each scallop with a small spoonful of caper and raisin dressing and then top with a round of Halloumi. Arrange the mixed salad leaves in the centre and serve immediately

For the vinaigrette:
120ml water
100g capers, rinsed and drained
100g golden sultanas
1 tsp white wine vinegar

To garnish:
Mixed salad leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

HALLOUMI OMELETTE

Break three eggs into a bowl and beat lightly Season with salt, pepper and mint. Add a little butter to the pan, when it sizzles gently fry some diced mushrooms, then add the egg mixture. Sprinkle half a pack of roughly grated Halloumi over the top and place under the grill for a few moments. Fold over and serve.

04Spiced Halloumi Kebabs with Spiced Couscous and Yoghurt dressing.
Serves 4 for lunch
Ingredients:
For the Kebabs
8 bamboo skewers
600g HWD Halloumi
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Onion
8 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 small piece of peeled ginger
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper.
For the Spiced couscous
2 Shallots (diced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1cm ginger (finely chopped)
2 spring onions(sliced)
4tbsp squash (diced)
2 tomatoes, seeded & diced
4tblsps frozen peas, blanched in boiling water
150g couscous
Hot vegetable stock
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1tsp paprika
Handful of chopped coriander
1/2 squeezed lemon
Salt & pepper
Drizzle of olive oil.

Method:
For the Kebabs, crush garlic & ginger, add curry powder and 2tblsps of olive oil. Chop all veg and marinade it in curry spices in the fridge for at least an hour. Soak skewers. Chop halloumi into squares and thread on the kebab sticks. Grill until halloumi browns slightly, turning regularly.

For the Spiced couscous, gently fry shallots, squash, ginger and garlic together in olive oil until squash is edible but al dente. Add cumin & paprika, fry for 1 minute then add couscous. Add tomato, spring onion, and blanched peas. Cover with hot vegetable stock. Place a lid on the pan, take it off the heat and leave until the couscous has plumped up. Stir in lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and coriander. Season to taste.

For the Yoghurt dressing, mix 8 tblsps Greek yoghurt, 1 tblsp caster sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, 2 tblsps chopped mint, and enough water to slightly thin the dressing down.

HALLOUMI OREGANO TOMATOES

Block of Halloumi cheese, chopped in small cubes.
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Garlic clove, finely chopped on some salt to absorb juice
1 green pepper, chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
400g tomatoes, chopped, or 1 tin tomatoes
2 tsps oregano
2tsps tomato puree
50g cashew nuts
Seasoning (to taste)
100g pasta or rice of your choice
Dry-fry Halloumi until golden-brown. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and add the onions, garlic, pepper, and mushrooms. When cooked, add the tomatoes, puree, oregano, cashew nuts and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes until hot, then serve on a bed of cooked rice or pasta.

SQUASH & HALLOUMI RISOTTO
06All ingredients are approximate. Keep tasting while you’re cooking.
This is a very simple dish, but delicious!
I won a Nationwide competition with it.

Olive oil
8ozs (.176 kg) Halloumi, cubed
1 onion, chopped
8ozs (.176 kg) squash, cubed
8ozs (.176kg) Arborio rice ( long-grain will do, but stir it more often.)
Vegetable stock (A stock cube will do.)
Chopped parsley
Seasoning
Dry-fry the Halloumi in a large frying-pan for about 2 minutes until beginning to go brown. Remove from pan.
Add some olive oil to the pan; enough to cover the base.
Add the onion and fry slowly until transparent
Add the squash, rice, parsley, and enough vegetable stock to cover the ingredients. Stir and season.
Simmer for about half an hour. Stir regularly. Add more stock as it’s absorbed.
The rice should become creamy.
Taste. Adjust the seasoning.
Leave to stand for about 5 minutes to absorb the stock.
Serve with more parsley sprinkled on top.

ROAST HALLOUMI WITH ONION MARMALADE

200g (7 oz) Halloumi
Olive oil
2 garlic gloves, chopped
Rosemary, chopped
Thyme, chopped
Oregano, chopped Seasoning

Place the Halloumi in a dish. Pour the olive oil, garlic and herbs over and marinade it for about 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge.

The Onion Marmalade
4tblsps olive oil
2 onions (preferably red) chopped
1 tblsp brown sugar
Generous glug of sherry, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
Pinch of ground cumin

Make the onion marmalade. Fry onion in oil slowly until soft. Add other ingredients & cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Place on tinfoil Stand the Halloumi on top.Add the marinade.
Wrap in foil and roast for approx ½ hour.

This can also be cooked on the barbecue for about 10 minutes

‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTOCKS!’
The Halloumi won’t melt during cooking. It tastes like pork. Even hardened Carnivores will enjoy this dish!
Olive oil
I onion, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled & cubed.
2 large aubergines, cubed
8ozs/225gms Halloumi, cubed
8ozs/225gms mushrooms, sliced
2tsps Cumin
1/2tsp Asafoetida powder
1 tsp dried chillies
1/2tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2tsp ground coriander
Seasoning
Plain yoghurt, to taste.
Fry potatoes until crispy, aubergines until golden-brown, onion until transparent. Drain them when ready. Dry-fry Halloumi until crispy on the outside. Add all the other ingredients except the yoghurt. Cover with water, stir & simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, add yoghurt to taste. Bring back to the boil, then switch it off.

02HALLOUMI PAELLA
Block of Halloumi, cubed
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 mushroom, chopped
2 handfuls Paella rice per person, + 1 for luck
Colorante powder, or Turmeric
Hot water
1 large tomato, chopped
Cooked French beans
2 large garlic cloves
Seasoning
1 lemon, cut into 6.

Dry-fry the Halloumi, turning it, until brown & crispy.
Remove from the pan & add a drizzle of olive oil.
Fry the onion, then add the pepper, followed by the mushroom. Fry until soft.
Add the paella rice & stir it. Then add hot water & stir once more.
Shake in some Colorante, or Turmeric to colour the rice.
Add the tomato & the beans with the water they were cooked in.
Add the cooked Halloumi.
Sprinkle some salt on the chopping-board. Finely chop the garlic on top of the salt. This absorbs all the juice. Scrape it into the paella. Taste & add more salt if needed, plus pepper.
Stir the paella quickly.
Don’t stir it again as the rice goes sticky.
Cook for approx. 40 minutes, adding more water if necessary. But all the water should be absorbed.
Place the lemon slices neatly round the edge or in the centre.
Turn the heat off & cover the pan with foil (optional). Let it stand for about 10 minutes to absorb the surplus water.
Serve with a mixed salad and crusty or garlic bread.
This is a very tasty vegetarian paella. If you’re entertaining meat-eaters, serve chicken portions separately. You can also offer a bowl of mussels.

Curried Halloumi Pasties
Makes 4 Pasties
Ingredients:
10g root ginger
1 shallot
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
1 tsp yellow mustard seed
1 tblsp curry powder
1 tblsp coriander stalk
2 tblsps coriander leaves
100g squash – cubed
100g High Weald Dairy Halloumi – cubed
Ready rolled puff pastry.
1 egg, beaten lightly.

Method:
Roast the cubed squash at 140C for 15-20mins or until soft.
Blend together the ginger, shallot, garlic cloves and red chilli in a food processor, then fry with the mustard seed, curry powder and coriander stalk in a little olive oil for 5 minutes over a low heat.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and the pasty filling is now ready.

Cut 4 x 6-7inch circles in the puff pastry and place the filling on one side of each pastry disc. Fold over, sealing with egg wash. Cut 3 slashes on top of the pasty and place on an oven tray. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

Serve with a jacket potato and salad, or baked beans & mashed potato.

You can buy delicious Sussex-made Halloumi from;

High Weald Dairy
Tremains Farm
Horsted Keynes,
West Sussex RH17 7EA
Tel; 01825 791636 Fax; 01825 791641
For Stockists and further information, please visit:
www.highwealddairy.co.uk

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.