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September 6, 2008

With the growing interest in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine, Australians are learning to love Haloumi. This salty, stretched-curd cheese hails from Cyprus and is wonderful for pan-frying or grilling as it forms a crisp crust and delicious, springy centre.

South Cape recently added Haloumi to their range. It comes in a 180g block in a resealable tub for and is now available in Woolworths stores nationally.

According to Naomi Crisante, food consultant and cheese educator: “South Cape Haloumi is really versatile because it can be pan-fried, grilled, baked or barbequed. Partnered with a crisp salad or salsa, it makes a perfect snack or starter. With Australians’ love of ‘throwing food on the barbie’, it is set to become the cheese of the Summer!”

Quick tips for cooking South Cape Haloumi

  • Slice it, panfry in hot oil and serve hot with lemon, oregano and crusty bread
  • BBQ on hot oiled bbq or grill plate and serve hot with salsa, lemon or sweet chilli sauce
  • Grill and toss with chopped tomatoes, parsley and olives
  • Grate and sprinkle over pasta, vegies or pizza then bake until golden
  • Crumb in egg and breadcrumbs. Flash fry in hot oil until golden. Serve with tomato, chilli or pesto dipping sauce

Haloumi and Beetroot Salad with Mint and Lime Dressing
Serves 4-6

500g medium beetroot, washed and leaves removed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
180g South Cape Haloumi, sliced
olive oil, for frying
extra mint leaves, for garnish

Roast whole beetroot in a pan at 200°C for 30 minutes. Toss carrots and onion in oil, add to pan and roast a further 30 minutes until beetroot is tender. Allow to cool, peel beetroot, cut into chunks and combine with roasted carrots, onions, cherry tomatoes and half the Mint and Lime Dressing. Arrange salad on serving plates.
Just before serving, quickly flash fry South Cape Haloumi slices in a hot oiled
pan until golden on both sides. Place pan-fried Haloumi on salad, drizzle with remaining dressing and garnish with extra mint.

Mint and Lime Dressing
Makes ¾ cup

¼ cup olive oil
grated rind of 1 lime or lemon
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Shake all ingredients together in a screw-top jar and use as required.

* * *

Sesame Haloumi Sticks with Hot Chilli Jam
Makes 16

180g South Cape Haloumi
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Oil, for shallow frying

Cut South Cape Haloumi into 8 slices and cut each slice in half lengthwise to make 16 ‘sticks’. Dip in egg and coat in combined breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. Double-crumb if desired. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Heat oil and shallow fry Sesame Haloumi Sticks on both sides until golden.
Thread onto skewers and serve with Hot Chilli Jam.

Hot Chilli Jam
Makes 1 ½ cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (use ½ qty for mild chilli jam)
400g can diced tomatoes
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Heat oil and fry onion, garlic and capsicum until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until thick. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Weblink: For more entertaining tips and recipes with South Cape cheeses, go to www.southcape.com.au

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