While I was waiting for my Thermomix to arrive, I spent my days poring over websites planning the dishes I would cook. When I stumbled across a recipe for halloumi, my heart jumped a little with excitement. Halloumi is something our house considers a treat. It’s on the pricey side, but we just love it barbecued with herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes I’ll flour it first and place it on top of a green, herby salad dressed with a vinaigrette, but our favourite is a la natural, straight off the barbie with lemon.
If you’ve never eaten halloumi, it’s a Cypriot cheese that is meant to be cooked before eating. It doesn’t melt, and so it stands up nicely to the heat of a frypan and gains this lovely crust as it cooks.
If you have access to raw milk, definitely give this a go. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cow in the garden (I wish!) but regular full-cream milk from the supermarket has still been very successful. I happened to have a bottle of calcium chloride and rennet from past ventures in cheese making, but comments underneath the recipe have instructions on replacing the rennet with a junket tablet. You should be able to find junket in the jelly section of your supermarket.
I’ve made this a few times now, however I did have one failure when I became complacent and overheated the milk. So while it’s a very easy recipe, you do have to follow the instructions.
Here are the curds and whey setting in the Thermoserver.
The recipe uses the TM basket as the mould, but I was lucky enough to find a plastic container with a square basket insert that fits neatly into the bowl of the Thermomix. Call me square – but I like the rectangular blocks rather than the quadrant shapes the round basket forms.
There is the suggestion that the brine’s salt content could be reduced, and I would also recommend this. I’ve reduced my salt down to 25g.
I have started experimenting and this photo shows my latest batch with dried Italian herbs which were added when the curds were reheated. To be honest, I think I got firmer results from the plain version, but I’m all about experimenting and trying new things!