Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pine nut-crusted cheese with roasted pepper

Pine nut-crusted cheese with roasted pepper

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

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.

Serves 4


Anonymous said...

OH MY. You had me at pine-nut crusted cheese. I'm unfamiliar with those cheeses; I wonder if a good mozzarella would work? I'll try it and report back. All in the name of research, of course.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Patricia! That looks like a great appetizer. With my mere weeks of summer remaining, I'll be sure to put it on the grill for sure!

Deborah said...

I think it looks good in the sticks! I don't know if I'd be able to find either of those cheeses here!

Anonymous said...

I've been trying for the last 15 minutes to post a comment. Carajo!

Anyway, I have a tendency to improvise a recipe whenever the need arises, so the fact that Haloumi is non-existent in my neck of the woods, won't stop me from trying this lovely recipe. Thanks Patricia.

Lo said...

This looks phenomenal! And what a great picture.

Improv is really the best way to discover new things, if you ask me!

pam said...

I love all your sweet dishes, but when you do a savory, oh my gosh!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

At least you tried with another version might not have turned out the way you like but it certainly looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

What a perfect combo of flavors -- sticks or no sticks! I've not heard of queijo coalho, so I'm very curious now. It's fun to have a dish that can be made quickly and have your taste buds satisfied. This looks to be one of those. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Well it does look great! Really it does!

I'm sorry it wasn't the bomb for you but it looks fantastic.

Dragon said...

Even though the cheese didn't melt, you are still a smart cookie. :)

Alexa said...

You still managed to make it look great. Wrong cheese and all... It looks like a wonderful recipe.
When I lived in San Paulo, we use to get the best pizza, the cheese was so creamy... I have never been able to replicate it and I don't remember what it was called. your story reminded me of that for some reason. :-)

Sara said...

they were offering samples of haloumi at my grocery store and it was SO delicious. i can't wait to buy some and try it out with a recipe like this! thanks patricia!

Anonymous said...

Mmm I love halloumi and any and all squeaky cheeses so I know that I would love this. Very clear adding the pinenuts, herbs and garlic to it!

Manggy said...

Hee hee! Sorry if I'm laughing at the unmeltable cheese. But I gotta say, it still does look really good, Patricia!

Kirby! said...

These look unbelievable! Like mozzarella sticks for the refined diner!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Halloumi is a dream cheese so versatile and tasty. I love your way of serving it here!

KJ said...

Wow Patricia, this sounds fantastic. I am definitely putting the recipe aside for future use. Pity your cheese didn't cooperate. But still it looks delicious.

Nina Timm said...

A new and fresh approach to an old favorite. Fried halloumi has been done so many times, but the pine nuts, herbs and garlic is a brilliant twist.

Anonymous said...

I don't even have to make this to know how good it must taste, but I'm going to make it anyway :)

Kana said...

HI Pat - hope you find the right cheese one of these days! Lovely pics though.. I bought my first ever donna hay magazine yesterday and I was bowled over!!!

LyB said...

I love your presentation here Patricia! It looks so lovely and unusual, and delicious too! :)

Elly said...

Melted or not, this looks SO delicious. I can just taste the butteriness (is that a word? lol) of the pine nuts with the butteriness of the cheese. Mmmm. Beautiful presentation, too.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Wow -- that is some firm cheese! But you're right, it looks delicious and the recipe is worth trying again.

Ann said...

Oh, Patricia, I adore haloumi-type things; then, coupled with pine nuts! This looks so satisfying and warm and bready, how perfect. Another slam-dunk, as usual! :)

Katie said...

Anything with cheese that is even slightly crispy immediately grabs my attention. This looks fantastic,

ChichaJo said...

I had been eyeing this recipe ever since I got the mag...your version looks lovely! I don't think it'll make that much of a diffence if the cheese is in sticks or one whole slab...with sticks you will get even more yummy crusty parts :)

Peabody said...

Cooked cheese sounds good to me! I love the Greek cheese that gets flamed. I forget what it is called though.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lori, I think it would! Maybe if you adjust the grilling time? I think it would be delicious!
And I want to know all about it - in the name of research, too. ;)

Dayna, it is! Some crusty bread goes fabulous here.

Deb, try it with another cheese, darling!

Marysol, really? Blogger can be such a pain in the neck sometimes, can't it?
I'm sure whatever cheese you decide to use will be delicious, darling.

Lo, thank you so much!

Pam, you are making me blush here, my friend. :)

Pete, it was really yummy. :)

Kelly, very quick, indeed, and full of flavors!

Cathy, you are so kind, dearie, thanks!

Dragon, and you are just so sweet. :)

Alexa, we do have amazing pizzas here in Sao Paulo!
The mozarela we use here is yellowish, and made of cow's milk. So delicious!
I have never tried Monterey Jack, but it seems to be similar to our mozarela.

Sara, I do hope you try it, sweetie!

Lorraine, Donna Hay rules! :)

Mark, it's OK, Joao laughed too. :)

Kirby, thank you!

Meeta, there will be more recipes with this kind of cheese around here!

KJ, this issue of Donna Hay magazine is full of delicious recipes, I don't know which one will be next! :)

Nina, Donna Hay is a brilliant mind. :)

Tim, tks for stopping by! I do hope you try it.

Maya, darling, I will try!
And I think you'll become a Donna Hay die hard fan, like me. :)

LyB, thank you, darling!

Elly, it is a word! At least in MY dictionary. ;)
Thank you!

Lydia, very firm indeed! You can ask Peter about queijo coalho.

Ann, thank you, sweetie!

Katie, I know - I'm crazy about cheese, too!

Joey, I knew it! I was sure you'd like this recipe, darling!

Pea, cheese is good in so many ways, isn't it?

Jaime said...

i'm not a big fan of pine nuts, but that first photo is beautiful

Emily said...

I've always wanted to try this recipe, but I haven't had the chance.

Capree said...

Oh, this looks so good I can almost taste it!! MMmm.. cheeeese...

test it comm said...

Halloumi with roasted red peppers sounds like a great combo!

Sarah said...

I don't know either of those cheeses, but I do love cheese in any form. If I ever come across this cheese I'm going to give this a try.

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