Sunday, April 17, 2011

Halloumi Cheese

We have a close friend, Koulis, who loves to make all kinds of things. He cooks, hunts, fishes, camps, makes homemade sausage (in mass quantities), is building a huge outdoor brick oven in his yard, and would fit well in a bygone era when we had to live off the land and hard work outdoors. There's something rewarding in making things from scratch and knowing where all the ingredients came from, a certain pride in a job well done that certainly could be done easier and with less effort due to today's modern gadgets, but is just better when done the old-fashioned way. Koulis wanted to make halloumi cheese. He's from Cyprus where Halloumi is very popular.

I am not allowed to share the recipe yet as Hubs and Koulis felt this first batch wasn't quite perfect. But it included two gallons of goat milk and rennet in a small amount, I believe it was a half a teaspoon, but check online for other recipes to be sure. At the end of the cooking you'll need salt.

Cheesemaking is an interesting process that reminds me of a science experiment. I came over after my husband and Koulis had been working on the brick oven one day and I brought 2 gallons of frozen goat milk with me. Koulis defrosted the milk to prepare for the expermint, um I mean, process.

After the milk was defrosted, it was added to the pot.

The milk was heated to 88 degrees F.

After the addition of rennet, the milk began to curdle.

See the curds and whey?

The curds are gathered up to be placed in molds to drain.

The curds are packed into molds.

Not one to waste anything, Koulis re-boiled the whey to skim
off another bit of curds which we used to make a dessert cheese.
That second cheese was similair to cottage cheese, only drier.
Koulis topped it with honey and walnuts.
It didn't last long!

Still draining.
After the whey drained (apx 45 minutes) the cheese was boiled in the molds back in the whey.
Once boiled, the cheese was removed, flattened like a thick pancake and dusted with salt.
It was placed in the fridge and ready to eat the following day.
Some people also add mint to the cheese.

Halloumi is often grilled and sprinkled with lemon juice.

Koulis saved the remaining whey in the fridge and the following evening we boiled spaghetti in it for dinner.
Waste not, want not...

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