Halloumi Burger

So, let’s talk about halloumi. It’s a semihard cheese with salty and tangy flavour and has a spongy texture. I have to admit… I wasn’t really a fan of it due to its rubbery texture. Not that I refused to eat it – I just preferred to eat other things compared to my friends that would choose a restaurant purely because the word ‘halloumi’ was on the menu.

But this last year I have tried to give it another go. Why? Because you can have a ready meal in just 10 minutes and who doesn’t love that? But also, I’ve learned that if you serve halloumi with certain vegetables and dips – they can take over with their moisture and tenderness (in this case the honey sautéed onion and pepper and the tzatziki dip) – so that it overpowers halloumi’s rubbery texture.

Anyways, hope you enjoy this burger and let me know if you know of any good halloumi recipes. Bon Shabétit!

 

Ingredients

225g halloumi
1 red pepper
1 red onion
Romaine lettuce, 2 lettuce sheets for each burger
3 tsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
burger buns
1 tsp chili flakes

 

Tzatziki
3 dl Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 of a cucumber, grated
salt

 

Method

  • Slice the halloumi (I sliced it in 3 as I was serving it for 3 people but you can slice it in 2 if you are making it for yourself).
  • Slice the onion and peppers and sauté it in an oiled pan over medium-heat. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder. Once the vegetables have gone soft – add the honey and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pour it over in a bowl.
  • For the tzatziki – just mixed the yoghurt, grated cucumber (also make sure you press firmly to strain any water), minced garlic and salt after taste.
  • Fry the halloumi in the same pan as the onion/pepper mixture and add some butter so it’s frying up in it nicely.
  • Take your burger bun and neatly stack all the ingredients and top it up with some chilli flakes if you want before you serve.

 

Honey-glazed Sweet Potato Fries

When I get the choice to choose a portion of fries as a side to my meal it will – A L W A Y S – be sweet potato fries. I think I was first introduced to glazed sweet potato fries one time at a Caribbean restaurant.  The glazy sweetness combined with the perfect amount of salt made the fries taste like heaven.

And since that day no combo of fries have tasted as delicious. I’m pretty sure they glazed it with golden syrup but I love to glaze mine with honey. I also like the idea of ‘fake’ deep-fried fries, which basically means you add breadcrumbs to the fries to give an extra crispy effect but don’t actually deep fry the potatoes as you bake them in oven. 

I love the combo of sweet, salty and spicy and if you love it too, then this is the recipe for you.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, cut into long thin slices
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 table spoons olive oil
1 ½ garlic powder
1 tbsp golden breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Cut the Sweet potato into small thin slices
  3. Mix olive oil, breadcrumbs, chili flakes, parsley, honey, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a bowl. Add the potatoes and mix well.
  4. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, flip it after 20 minutes.

Honey and Tomato spaghetti

I guess it wouldn’t be right if my first recipe didn’t have the word ‘tomato’ in it.

Everyone that knows me, is aware of my ridiculous and almost obsessive love for tomatoes. I don’t know when or how it started but what I do know is that it is an essential ingredient in my kitchen. Maybe it’s the umami or maybe it’s the juiciness, whatever it is… I absolutely love it. 

This pasta dish is very simple and quick to make which says a lot because I’m not the quickest person you can find in the kitchen. I would like to say that it’s because I like to take my time but others might argue and say that I’m just a tinyyy bit slower than the average…

Two things that might stand out in this recipe from the other tomato sauces out there is the honey and tomato puree. I can’t emphasise the importance of the tomato puree in this recipe so please don’t use a can of chopped tomatoes. After years of observing my mom making her own tomato sauce, I have learned that tomato puree is the key to making the sauce both richer and colourful. As it is concentrated it will give the pasta sauce an intensity and body that is just deliciously good. And the honey –  well you just have to trust me on this.

Ingredients:

  • 450g uncooked spaghetti 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 7-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp boiled water
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • salt after taste 
  • pepper after taste 
  • a little Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), to serve

Method:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, do the same with the fresh parsley (but save some for garnish). Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them.
  3. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of turmeric and add the onion and garlic, then cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. After one minute, season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon chili flakes (or add more if you like to have it spicier), then continue cooking for around 3 minutes. 
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato puree and add boiled water and butter, stir until an even paste.
  7. Add the chopped parsley, and 1 teaspoon ketchup and 2 teaspoons full of honey, continue cooking for 6-7 minutes.
  8. Once the pasta is done, drain in colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti in to the pot.
  9. Stir the spaghetti into the tomato sauce for around a minute or so, add a little water or olive oil if it needs to loosen. 
  10. VOILÁ! Now serve it with little bit of Parmesan (LOOOL is there even such thing as ‘little’ parmesan). Also remember to garnish your plate with some fresh parsley to make it extra pretty and insta-worthy.

Bon Shabétit xx