Some time back I discovered that thanks to the glories of online shopping (I do not enjoy grocery shopping), I could purchase a 1.5kg container of haloumi. The price was way better than the little individual serves, and it lasts for months in brine, so I thought – why not?
When it arrived, I discovered that the store had been out of the 1.5kg container of haloumi. So they made a substitution.
For a 2kg bucket of haloumi.
I wasn’t sad.
When I announced that this had happened, someone innocently asked: what was I planning to do with haloumi aside from pan-frying it?
To which I said “… why would I do ANYTHING aside from pan-frying it??”
A colleague at work, with Greek-Cypriot connections, tells me that Cyrpiots will eat (non-fried) haloumi with watermelon. I’ve not tried that. What I have tried, now, is haloumi bread, or haloumopsomi. And friends, it is delightful.
The bread is from Tess Mallos’ book Complete Middle Eastern Cooking, which I’ve just started to explore. I’ve been going through the Cypriot section, which I’ll report back on in a day or two. Anyway, the recipe asks you to make bread according to the recipe for Kouloura dough and then instead of turning it into a bread ring, you push it out into a rectangle; dot it with 250g of haloumi; then roll it up and tuck in the ends. TA DA.
The recipe suggested sesame seeds but I adore nigella seeds so that’s what I went with. It was fairly large, as you see, so this served to accompany two dinners for two of us… because we managed not to be incredibly greed the first night. Came up fine the second night after a little while in the fridge to take the chill off.
The only hard part is the kneading, and at least some of that could just be done in the mixer if I’d thought far enough ahead. Still, kneading is a cathartic experience…