Halloumi originates from the island of Cyprus and tends to be a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese. It is unique for having a high melting point which means it can be easily grilled or fried- perfect for summer cookouts! What makes it better is because it doesn’t melt, it keeps its texture and shape, keeping the incredible flavor and soft insides.
Although Halloumi has been around for a long time, it is particularly getting more popular over in the western countries because there has been a rise in vegetarians, it acts as a delicious meat substitute.
This cheese is traditionally made with ewe’s milk and added cow’s milk, but it is perfectly fine to make it with just 100% cow’s milk since that is more readily available. You can even substitute the milk for your own desired type. In this recipe though, 1 gallon of cow’s milk will be used for a trial run to see if you enjoy the cheese, ingredients can easily be adjusted to fit the amount of milk you would like to use.
What You Need
1 Gallon of Milk (not ultra-pasteurized) 1/4 Tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet (1/8 tsp for raw milk) 1 Pack C21 Buttermilk Culture or 1/4 tsp MA4002 (no culture for raw milk) 3/8 Tsp Calcium Chloride for Pasteurized Milk 1/8 Tsp Citric Acid (for Whey Ricotta) 1/2 oz Salt
Knife to cut curds Large colander Ladle or spoon to stir curds Thermometer
What To Do
1. To begin, place your milk in a pot and heat it to around 88 degrees F. Be sure to hear slowly and stir well if heating on a stove.
Once your milk has reached the desired temperature, add the culture. The culture will be destroyed by the milk and the curds will become higher in temperature. However, they will provide special enzymes for ripening if the cheese is preserved for a short period of time.
Also, if you are adding calcium chloride or lipase, add them in this step and stir to incorporate it well into the milk.
2. Now, add the liquid rennet to a diluted 1/4 cup of water. This will begin the coagulation process. It will take approximately 30-40 minutes for total coagulation but you will notice the milk begins to thicken within 20 minutes.
3. The curds can now be cut to .75- 1.5 inch squared in a vertical manner. Then allow to stand for 5 minutes to heal and then using your ladle, cut horizontally into even sized cubes.
4. Time to cook the curds and remove the whey. Stir gently, increasing the heat slowly to 100 degrees F during 20-30 minutes.
Keep this temperature for another 20-30 minutes while stirring every 3-5 minutes.
Once that time period is over, allow the curds to settle for 5 minutes under the whey.
Cooking the cheese in hot whey is very important for the making of Halloumi, so beginning to filter off the whey from the curds is the next step. You can do this with a sanitized colander and just scoop the whey out with a ladle, cup or bowl.
Now that the whey has been separated, slowly heat the whey to 195 degrees F, without letting it boil.
5. The curds which are dry can be transferred to their form from draining. Light pressure from your hands will help the consolidation of curd and make more than 1 form, they can be stacked and reversed for a little weight.
You can allow the curds to rest with a little weight, stalking them in forms. Make sure you turn them at 20-minute intervals to form a well-consolidated cheese.
6. After the whey has been heated, it is time to give the Halloumi its true form by heating the whey for 30-40 more minutes, keeping it at a temperature of 195 degrees F for the time it takes to cook all the pieces of Halloumi. Use a ladle to keep the cheese off the bottom of the heating pot and then lower it into the whey. At first, the cheese will float to the bottom, but as it cooks, it will eventually float to the surface.
Once it floats, that means it is ready to be removed. Cool the cheese for a few seconds in cold water and then lay it on a draining mat to cool and drain a bit more.
7. While you are cooling the cheese, and it is still warm, flatten with your hand to form a larger, flatter disc of cheese.
Now finish it off by sprinkling the cheese with salt and folding it into a crescent and pressing slightly as it cools.
8. Now your cheese is done, after a 3-5 day process. You can keep it refrigerated if it is lightly salted. If you are wanting to store it more traditionally, at room temperature, the higher amount of salt will keep it well for several days.
Belgium is not only famous for its rich chocolate but its fabulous cheese as well. Although Belgium is a small country, it makes over 300 different varieties of cheese, almost the same amount as France! The reason Belgium cheeses aren’t as well known as other European countries is that they produce very small amounts of the cheese and very rarely export them out of the country.
You could say that the cheese in Belgium are exclusive and if you are lucky enough to be able to visit Belgium or your local cheese store has a few samples, here is a list of the best cheeses Belgium has to offer:
The name of this cheese comes directly from the town in which it is made. Herve is one of the most popular cheeses of Belgium, is made from cow’s milk cheese, it comes in the shape of a brick with a reddish brown coating which is formed by bacteria during the aging period. Quite often, Herve is described as similar to Limburger as it has a pale yellow, soft interior and a strong smell to it. The cheese is quite sweet when it is young but as it ages, the flavor deepens, becoming quite spicy. A good pairing would be beers and dark bread.
The style of this cheese is quite traditional despite it being newer to the Belgium cheese market. This creamy cheese was made by an innkeeper in from Beauvoorde Village, in the 1990s. It is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk with a hexagonal shape and a natural gray rind around it. The flavors are mild with a spicy aroma. It will make good for a cheese plate or a simple sandwich cheese.
Even though Limburger is readily made and available in the United States, this stinky, legendary cheese actually comes from Belgium originally. This pungent cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a soft, yellow interior. Despite having notes of sweetness, Limburger is quite meaty and spicy. On the outside, the texture is smooth and sticky, ranging in color from reddish-brown to yellow, it also has corrugated ridges. Although Limburger is an acquired taste, it is definitely a must try as the full flavor might definitely win you over.
This soft cow’s milk cheese is also known as Fromage de Bruxelles. The creation of this cheese is somewhat unique, with it being repeatedly washed and dried during the maturation period of 3 months. In result of this, it has a very smooth texture with a sharp flavor. The shape is often round because of the tubs the cheese is placed in. It can be a great snacking cheese or good for spreading on bread.
There is no better way to honor a famous artist than to name a delicious cheese after them. That artist is the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, the most popular painter in 17th century Europe. The cheese is made into small rounds with a reddish brown rind encasing it.
The name of this cheese comes from the village of Passchendaele. It is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese which resembles a load of bread with a hard, edible brown rind. One of Belgium’s best-known cheeses, the texture is smooth and fresh with dotted holes in the interior with a mild flavor.
This soft cow’s milk cheese is traditionally made by monks, originating from the Maredsous Abbey in Belgium. Being served as a table cheese frequently, the loaf shaped cheese has a bright orange color which is washed with brine and lightly pressed.
Prince-Jean is a fresh cow’s milk cheese which is made in modern creameries. This rich, triple cream cheese is divine in all its velvety pleasure. The aroma is pungent with a white mold surface. Another version of the cheese is also made with peppercorns, it is much softer.
It is Easter Weekend this week! What better way to get us ready than explore the world’s favorite, traditional Easter dishes? You never know, you just might find some tasty ideas for your own Easter meal!
Image Source: jovinacooksitalian.com/tag/easter/
‘Rosquillas’ From Spain
A lot of Spaniards will enjoy these special treats at Easter. These donuts can either be baked or fried. They are made from fermented flour and depending on the region, they’re either dusted with sugar, flavored with rosemary or some even soaked in anise liqueur.
‘Hot Cross Buns’ From U.K.
No Easter in Britain would be complete without Hot Cross Buns. This sweet, spiced bun is marked with a cross and has been eaten for hundreds of years in tradition to Easter. Simmel cakes which are fruit cakes topped with marzipan are also popular during Easter and they are made to resemble the Apostles.
‘Mämmi’ From Finland
Mämmi is traditionally made with rye flour, water, and powdered malted rye. It is also seasoned using dark molasses, dried powdered Seville orange zest, and salt. The name for it in Swedish is Memma.
‘Chervil Soup’ From Germany
Germans traditionally eat green colored foods on Maundy Thursday because it is known as Gründonnerstag or “Green Thursday”. Because of this, Chervil soup is a popular choice.
‘Tsoureki’ From Greece
This bread is quite like brioche. It is flavored with essence drawn from the seed of wild cherries. It’s an Easter tradition mainly because it is often decorated with hard-boiled eggs that have been dyed red, to symbolize the blood of Christ.
‘Kulich’ From Orthodox Christian Countries
Many families from Orthodox Christian Countries such as Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria, are known to bake the Kulich cake during Easter time. Kulich is baked in a tall tin and is decorated with white icing and colorful sprinkles. The cake is also often blessed by a priest after and Easter service.
‘Påskeøl’ From Denmark
This may not be a dish as such but can easily accompany a great Easter dish because in Denmark, this is a special beer during Easter. It is slightly stronger than regular beer too!
‘Pashka’ From Russia
This dessert is in the shape of a pyramid, and for all us cheese lovers, it is made out of cheese! This particular dessert is traditionally served during Easter time in Russia. It is often decorated with the religious symbols ‘XB’, which are from “Christos Voskres”, which translates to “Christ has Risen”.
‘Pinca’ From Eastern Europe
Pinca is similar to a large hot cross bun. It is a sweet bread marked with the sign of the cross and is commonly eaten in Slovenia and Croatia to celebrate the end of Lent. In some areas of Italy, it is also enjoyed.
‘Paçoca De Amendoim’ From Brazil
This tasty Brazilian treat is often served in honor of the Easter festival in Brazil. It is made from peanuts, cassava flour, and sugar.
‘Capirotada’ From Mexico
Capirotada is a spiced Mexican bread pudding which is filled with cinnamon, raisins, cloves and cheese. It is popular during Easter and is said to that each ingredient carries a reminder of the suffering of Christ. The cloves resemble the nails on the cross, the cinnamon as the wooden cross itself and the bread as the Body of Christ.
‘Colomba Di Pasqua’ From Italy
Colomba Di Pasqua is very similar in taste to the Italian Christmas bread ‘Panettone’. This cake is candied peel stuffed and is often shaped like a dove for religious symbolism.
‘Mona De Pascua’ From Spain
This popular Easter cake is traditionally cooked in many regions of Spain during Holy Week (Semana Santa). This cake traditionally is what looks to be a large donut which is topped with a hardboiled egg.