Spicy Halloumi Fries

This is a really quick recipe for Cajun spiced halloumi fries.  Crunchy on the outside, but soft and slightly melting on the inside, they are rather moreish and should probably come with a warning.

Halloumi Fries

I don’t have a deep fat fryer, these are shallow fried in batches and then finished off in the oven so they are all ready at the same time.

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I bought some halloumi with chilli in as we like things hot and I served the fries with a spicy salsa too, but plain halloumi, served with yoghurt is a milder alternative.

Ingredients:
2 packs of halloumi cheese – I used halloumi with chilli
3tbs plain/all-purpose flour
1-2tbs Cajun seasoning
2-3tbs sunflower oil for frying
Handful of coriander
1-2 chillies, thinly sliced
Salsa for serving

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Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/430°F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Mix the flour and Cajun seasoning together in a dish.

Slice the halloumi lengthways then again down the middle to cut them into fries and turn in the seasoned flour. Tap off any excess coating back into the dish.

Heat the oil and fry the cheese for 2-3 minutes, turning until each side is crisp and golden.  Place on the lined baking sheet and continue until all the fries are ready.

Bake for 5-7 minutes in the hot oven while you chop the coriander and slice the chillies.  They are ready when they are sizzling, piping hot and crisp.  Place onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil before sprinkling over the chopped herbs and chilli.

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Serve immediately with spicy salsa for dipping and enjoy with drinks

Veggie Baked Eggs with Cheese

These are very quick to put together and are delicious any time of day, but make a particularly good brunch dish, served with hot buttered toast to dip in the soft egg.

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Ingredients:
Knob of butter and a little oil
1 finely chopped onion 
2-3 large Portobello mushrooms, chopped
150ml double cream
150g of a good melting cheese – grated (I used a mixture of cheddar and Monteray Jack)
6 spears of Cavolo Nero kale, tough stalks removed and roughly chopped
1 red pepper – chopped with seeds and ribs removed
4 large eggs
Parmesan
Salt and black pepper
Hot buttered toast, to serve

Baked eggs

Method:
Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F

Place the butter and oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, red pepper, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables for around 10 minutes until softened. Add the kale and stir until wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the double cream and cheese, the heat will melt the cheese.

Divide the mixture evenly among 4 ramekins and make an indentation in each one with the back of a teaspoon. Crack an egg into each and top with a little freshly grated parmesan.

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Bake for around 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them. The white of the egg should be just set and the yolk runny.

Serve straightaway with hot buttered toast.

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Smoky and Spicy Cheese Ball

Since I made my very first cheese ball here, it was so good, I have been needing an excuse to create new ones.

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With the festive season upon us, a cheese ball is the perfect make-ahead addition to a any party or buffet table. Served with cruditiés or crackers, they are really good for feeding a crowd and delicious to eat.

This one is all about smoky and spicy flavours. Smoky cheese, smoked paprika, smoky and spicy chipotle chillies and the crust has chopped smoky almonds, smoked paprika and lots of crispy shards of smoky bacon goodness. Like my first cheese ball recipe, I haven’t used any extra salt in this at all.

cheeseball2

Ingredients:
8oz/226g room temperature cream cheese
8oz/226g room temperature Applewood smoked cheddar, grated
Small bunch of chives, very finely chopped
1-2tbs of chipotle chilli paste.
1 roasted red pepper, skinned and finely chopped. You can easily cheat and use one from a jar for this.
2tsp smoked paprika – sweet or spicy, the choice is yours
Freshly ground black pepper

Crust:
1 pack of salted smoked almonds, very finely chopped
6 thin slices of smoked streaky bacon, cooked until crisp – then cool and finely chop
Freshly ground black pepper
2tsp smoked paprika
Crackers for serving

cheeseball slice

Method:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the room temperature cheeses, peppers, paprika and chilli and mix on low speed until well mixed.  Add the chives and mix until just combined.

Place onto cling film and form into a ball. Refrigerate for at least two hours in order for it to firm up and be rolled in the crust ingredients.

On a plate, spread out the chopped almonds and bacon. Season the plate all over with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the paprika so you have an even coating.

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Then just roll the cheese ball around in the crust ingredients, until fully coated. This is ready to serve immediately but will only get better if left to come up to room temperature. Otherwise you can refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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This could easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon and using more of the other ingredients to coat the outside.