I think you have all been there: you see a wonderful recipe but one of the ingredients is not easy – or worse, impossible – to find where you live. That’s fine - we use something else instead.
Valentina had told me that queijo coalho is similar to haloumi – it even “squeaks” on the teeth once bitten. So queijo coalho it is. But the type found in the supermarket was one already cut in sort of sticks. :(
Not wanting to make my poor hubby march towards another grocery store, I decided I would glue the cheese sticks on the frying pan before dipping them on the pine nut mixture. Oh, yeah, I’m so smart, aren’t I? Except for one small detail: the cheese wouldn’t melt. At all. That’s why my plan did not work, as you can see on the photo. But this is such a delicious recipe I had to share it with you.
I highly recommend it - with the right cheese, of course. :)
Pine nut-crusted cheese with roasted pepper
from Donna Hay magazine
½ cup (80g) toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups flat-leaf parsley leaves - I mixed parsley and fresh oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g haloumi, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
450g store-bought char-grilled red bell peppers, torn*
Place the pine nuts, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor and process in short bursts until just combined. Spread the pine nut mixture on the haloumi. Heat the extra olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the haloumi for 1-2 minutes each side or until browned.
Serve immediately with the roasted bell pepper.
* Or cut off the top of a (or more) bell pepper, cut it in half, remove all the seeds and pith and place it on a lightly oiled baking tray, skin side up. Brush the skin with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven (200ºC/400ºC) until the skin starts to blister. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the peppers to a glass bowl, covering it tight with plastic or cling film. Set aside to cool. The skin will be removed very easily, then.