This is a wonderful appetizer or side dish. To make it, you will need a block of halloumi cheese and some bacon or pancetta slices. You can either thread a few bacon-wrapped halloumi pieces on skewers then cook them as kabobs, or else secure each one with a toothpick and cook them individually. It depends whether you have skewers, and also whether the gaps in the barbeque grate are wide enough for individual pieces of halloumi to fall through. These will cook to perfection in 4 minutes on the barbeque. They can also be cooked for 10 minutes in a 400 degrees F oven if the weather is not up to barbequing. These take mere minutes to put together and you can choose from bacon or pancetta as the wrapping around the cheese.
Halloumi is a tasty cheese from Cyprus. It is semi-hard and made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. Sometimes it includes cow’s milk too. Because this cheese has a very high melting point, it can be grilled, fried or baked to a golden-brown finish without melting. This cheese is popular in the UK, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, and of course Cyprus. It dates as far back as AD 395 to the Medieval Byzantine period. This cheese is white and salty. It can be frozen for up to a year. Aged halloumi, which is halloumi kept in its own brine, is stronger and saltier. When shopping for this cheese, buy authentic Cyprus halloumi, not the milder, softer, Western types. It might be labeled ‘helim’ which is Turkish for halloumi.
The Perfect Appetizer
Whether you are serving steak, chicken or seafood later, why not kick off the proceedings with this tasty cheese appetizer. The saltiness of bacon and cheese gets everyone salivating, and you can tweak this recipe however you wish, perhaps by adding some fruit preserves between the halloumi and the bacon, or by adding some brown sugar inside the bacon, to contrast with the salty bacon taste. These are best served hot off the barbeque. They take a few minutes to cook, no more, so pop them on at the last minute, turn them often so they do not stick, and you will soon be rewarded with a really delicious appetizer that everyone is going to rave about and request more of. Wrapping food in bacon always makes it better, whether you are using dates, scallops, shrimp, or even halloumi like we are doing here. This really is a special appetizer.
These delicious little bites are crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. It is hard to explain just how good they are! There is nothing that can go wrong with this recipe because it is so simple. As long as you wrap them tightly and then cook them, flipping often, they should come out absolutely perfect. If you are threading them on to skewers, remember to soak bamboo skewers in water for half an hour before using them, else they might catch fire on the barbeque. Of course this is not necessary with metal ones, but soak toothpicks if you are using those, since they are also something that can catch fire.
- 9 oz block halloumi cheese
- 10 slices bacon or pancetta
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)
- Preheat the barbeque to hot.
- Cut the halloumi into 20 pieces and grind some black pepper over them.
- Cut each bacon or pancetta slice in half across the middle.
- Wrap a bacon piece around each halloumi piece.
- Thread 5 of these on to each of 4 skewers.
- Cook on the barbeque for 1 minute.
- Rotate and cook for 1 minute.
- Repeat twice more or until done.
- These usually take about 4 minutes until they are done, but keep them moving so they do not stick.
- You can sprinkle some chives over them before serving, if you like.
These wonderful little bites are really good. They are made by wrapping halloumi cheese cubes in bacon slices, or you could use pancetta instead of the bacon if you want. Cook them on the barbeque and you will love the amazing results. These make a great appetizer or you could serve a couple with barbequed fish or seafood. Halloumi is a special kind of cheese from Cyprus which softens and turns golden brown but does not melt. You can either thread these on to kabobs skewers or use toothpicks to secure them individually. Either way, these will taste phenomenal.
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