halloumi you hot stuff

guys guys guys! guess what?

I MADE HALLOUMI WITH MY BARE HANDS

…and a whole host of cheesemaking equipment, naturally.

halloumi = food of the gods, basically. it’s mega trendy in new zealand at the moment but i feel like not so much in the states? well at any rate, i haven’t seen all that much buzz about it. here though, most cafes will have a brunchy lunchy option with halloumi yum!

for those of you who haven’t had it before, it’s generally fried in thick slices before serving. this is because it doesn’t melt when fried unlike other cheeses. this means you get a golden crunchy crust and a squeaky, slightly molten interior.

sadly for us student folk, it tends to be super duper expensive, so it’s a rare luxury. however, i saw a cheesemaking kit in the pantry at home the other day, which my mama had received for christmas a year or so ago. upon further examination, i saw that halloumi was one of the cheeses on offer, so i immediately cleared my schedule determined that the weekend would be halloumi time.

i strongly recommend that if you haven’t made cheese before that you purchase or arrange to be gifted some sort of cheesemaking kit. the mad millie one we used had very clear instructions, contained everything we needed and most importantly produced yummy cheese! because ain’t nobody got time to track down rennet tablets and “cheese salt”.

here are some step by step photos:

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so first we had to heat the milk up and add rennet. Then we popped it in the kitchen sink for ages at 40ish degrees or until it got all set!

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^^cutting the curds in a grid pattern … super precise ;) ^^

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^^mmm tasty^^

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^^i stirred them and they got all cottage -cheesy ^^

then the curds got pressed together in cheesecloth. i forgot to photograph that so you’ll just have to imagine it. the internet decreases creativity what? not on this blog it don’t.

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^^my halloumi bundles of joy chilling on the cooling/dripping rack^^

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^^we then had to get the whey left over boiling in a pot, and pop the haloumi in to poach. they were ready when they floated to the top!^^

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^^and the finished product fried until ridiculously crispy to grace our salads^^

so… the million dollar question… is it actually worth doing? to be fair, our homemade halloumi wasn’t that much better than shop bought stuff – however you can only really buy halloumi from expensive gourmet cheesemaker brands, so it’s not like i’ve got a pams product to compare it to. the kit made it 100 million times easier than if i was to go out and buy all the different things (as it contained stuff like sterilising liquid etc), so i would probably recommend that.

all in all, it was a very fun activity for a weekend day when we weren’t up to much, and me and sarah enjoyed our cheesemaking adventures immensely – now for making camembert! that is something i can definitely get behind ;)

on the more current news front, all is well with me! my iPhone is currently getting fixed so they gave me a loan phone for the mean time. i am embarrassed to report i have become the stereotypical apple fiend that i swore i would never become – i am hopeless without it!! it is taking me about 10 mins to send texts on this android phone and almost called my friend in my lecture today while i was trying to save her number. for everyone’s sake, lets hope that it gets repaired quickly!

right, i’m off to finish my eco reading and then try persuade my (male, rugby playing) flatmate to watch a chickflick with me – yeah i don’t like my chances either ;) though my other flatmate has been jamming the high school musical lately … wonders will never cease! Happy weekend, everybody! i love you guys! xx

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