Who Doesn’t Love Fried, Melty Cheese?
Editor’s Note: Meet our new contributorS, Kara and Marni Powers of Twin Tastes. Born just two minutes apart, Kara and Marni love putting their own twists on classic dishes inspired by their family, travel and surroundings. They blog about recipes created from mixing and matching ingredients in their shared tiny kitchen in the North End of Boston, and we’re stoked to have them as Endless Simmer’s first tag-team bloggers.
Our best meals abroad take place in tiny tavernas, taperias, bistros, hole-in-the-walls, or any kind of no-frills eatery filled with non-English speaking diners where everyone appreciates one thing: good food. In Cyprus tavernas, many locals enjoy meze dinners where friendly waiters bring out plate after plate of traditional Mediterranean dishes. They often start with a thick slice of one of Cyprus’ featured cheeses, halloumi. If you have never tried halloumi, think of the best qualities of feta and mozzarella combined into one delectable cheese. Its mild, salty taste and firm texture makes it ideal for frying or grilling. The Cypriots often enjoy it served simply grilled, drizzled with honey or topped on salad or fruit. When heated, the outside gets nice and golden and the inside is smooth.
Our take on fried halloumi incorporates a citrusy caper vinaigrette. Once the cheese hit the pan, our apartment was filled with a nutty aroma. Who doesn’t love melted fried cheese?
Fried Halloumi Cheese with Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette
Half the juice of a lemon
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t dried oregano
¼ c EVOO + 2 T EVOO
salt and pepper
1 T drained capers
8 oz. halloumi cheese cut into 1/4-inch pieces and patted dry
Large bag of mixed greens for a base
Whisk the Dijon mustard, oregano, lemon and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 c EVOO until incorporated. Add the capers and set aside.
Heat the 2 T EVOO on medium high heat in a frying pan. Add the cheese slices to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes per side until golden.
Plate right away atop mixed greens, drizzled with the caper vinagrette.
Serves 6 (2 slices per person).