Grilled halloumi bites

Epic fail on Halloumi – but Zany Zeus saves the day

Zany Zeus Halloumi
Not my Halloumi unfortunately, mine didn’t work!

Oh the irony, a cheese freak who can’t make cheese. My latest effort at Halloumi was a big fail! Not just a bit wonky, my Halloumi was a complete bust. My curds did not set, there was no whey to separate, so yes I have no Halloumi today.

I don’t know what it is about cheese-making that I struggle with, maybe it’s the heating of the milk I get wrong, maybe the tablet rennet is no good, maybe I just haven’t practiced enough. This is a dark art I have yet to master, but fortunately I am quite the mistress of  buying and eating cheese.

So my cheesey friends rather than a post extolling the virtues of my DIY cheese I can only reiterate how in awe I am of any one who can make the stuff, and ponder the delights of my favourite fridge fall back – Zany Zeus Halloumi.

Halloumi-april14cHaloumi is a cheese originally from Cyprus, which is stored in brine then usually fried or grilled. Zany Zeus is a local Petone cheese-making company and is the brain-child of Michael Matsis and his sister Meropi. They started making cheese 10 years ago inspired by their Cypriot mother Lefki.
Zany Zeus

The reason Halloumi keeps its shape rather than melting is down to the way it’s made. After the whey is separated out, it’s heated and poured over the curds. This changes the texture of the curds, a bit like Mozzarella and it holds together when heated, almost as if it’s already been cooked.

Grilled halloumi bitesGrilled Halloumi salad is my go-to mid-week quick dinner. In fact I don’t think I’d really eaten it any other way. So today, rather than slices, I cut them in to cubes, fried them in olive oil and server with grilled tomatoes, some salad greens and a glass of red.

Superb, and next time I host a casual dinner I’ll serve these as part of an antipasto or hors d’oeuvre platter.  And next time maybe I’ll succeed and be able to show off my own cheese making efforts.

Nigel Slater's Cheese pudding - easy souffles Labneh or Yoghurt cheese on a platter, copyright Lucy at Life and cheese A colander with cheesecloth
Nigel Slater’s Cheese puddings for cold winter nights Labneh – easy to make yoghurt cheese for Spring platters Ricotta – easy as but totally delicious

3 thoughts on “Epic fail on Halloumi – but Zany Zeus saves the day

  1. I’ve successfully made halloumi using a Mad Millie kit. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny. The only problem I have is what to do with so much halloumi! What a problem to have 😀

    1. I’m jealous- maybe I shoudl try a kit. But what a wonderful problem to have – although I did read somewhere you can freeze it pretty successfully.

      Mmm halloumi on tap – I wonder do you get sick of it? Hard to believe.

      1. Nawww, I don’t get sick of it, but I feel like I shouldn’t eat all of it by myself. I end up gifting it to people I love. The only time I ever cooked it all up in one sitting was at Christmas on the BBQ. That was awesome.

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