Barbecued Halloumi slices with olives and a dressing of chilli and mint
Halloumi is a fairly solid cheese with a high melting point, making it one of the few cheeses that you can cook on a barbecue without the whole lot falling into the coals. Traditionally from Cyprus, it is popular throughout Greece and the Middle East. A fairly salty cheese, it is produced mainly using goat’s milk and ewe’s milk although the ingredients list on the cheese I cooked with stated cow’s milk as well.
I quickly rustled up the dressing by mixing together three tablespoons of Extra Virgin olive oil, the juice of a lemon, a red chilli (roughly chopped) and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. I then left the dressing for five hours to let the flavours integrate (two hours should be plenty), before adding a handful of chopped mint when ready to serve. I sliced a 250g pack of Halloumi into thick slices, brushed it with olive oil and grilled it on the barbecue until the slices were browned a little on both sides. The dressing is simply poured on top of the cooked cheese. Don’t worry if it seems a bit squeaky when you eat it – Halloumi is the ultimate squeaky cheese. After a hot morning’s gardening (so much for the aforementioned lazy Sunday), we had built up a thirst so we enjoyed a simple, cold beer with the dish.
Pork steaks in a spicy marinade
For the marinade, I poured in a glug of olive oil (probably about four tablespoons), the juice of a lemon, three cloves of crushed garlic and a teaspoon each of cumin, turmeric and paprika. This made enough marinade to cover four large pork steaks. The pork was left in the fridge for five hours until ready to cook on the barbecue. Check that the meat is properly cooked through (no pink bits) before you take it off the barbecue. It’s a little bit spicy but not too hot so my 6-year-old and 9-year-old devoured theirs with gusto. We served it with some Mediterranean vegetables but couscous with pine nuts, a finely chopped and sautéed red onion and a little paprika and cinammon would also go well. To drink, the husband and I found a lightly chilled St Nicolas de Bourgueil (Cabernet Franc) from the Loire to be an ideal match.