From milk to this Mystery Box Challenge creation... and all in a day at a Haloumi Making Course with "The Cheese Maker". What a fantastic day and a memorable experience! How much do you love your Haloumi?
In the world of cheeses, there's nothing holier than haloumi when you're wanting something salty, firm and substantial with a Middle Eastern salad, a Greek Mezze platter or simply fried or grilled with a drizzle of basil oil and fresh ripe juicy red tomatoes under a Tucsan sun. Or a West Australian sun.
This delectable... exquisite... semi-hard, unripened brined 'squeeky' cheese made from a mixture of cow's, sheep and (or) goat's milk has a heavenly high melting point, allowing you to grill it, fry it, or add it to any dish that requires heat (like 'to-die-for-Zucchini Fritters which I learnt how to make from the famous 'Karina' from The Cheese Maker! The end result is that the haloumi keeps it's form and shape, whilst still being enjoyed warm or hot, hot hot.
And how cool is it, when you can make your own? About 4 litres of 2% fat milk (sold as 'Hi-Lo' in Western Australia) and some cream will render 3 thick square slabs of haloumi, about the size of the bottom of your milk container. Now that's about $21 worth of haloumi, for $9! And as cheese lovers united will attest...it's fresh and contains the ego required to exclaim..." I made this myself!"
Tanya from The Cheese Maker runs an exceptional and informative class on making your own haloumi and she invited me to come along and see what goes on. After a full day learning about how to make camembert, cream cheese and mascarpone... I was counting down the days! Check out what happens when a group of like minded cheese lovers get together in one location and learn how to make our own Haloumi. Holy Haloumi, I'll never buy it again!
Here Liz and Alison are getting into the groove. We're all probably laughing a little more than cheesing. But we're gettin there!
Malcolm and his glorious wife Helen from Victoria joined " Group Haloumi " in a team of 5. They were a force to be reckoned with and when I wasn't laughing with Liz and Alison, I was laughing with the state of Victoria.
Once the ingredients are combined in a harmonious Cypriotic marriage of creamy goodness, we're going to bring it to the right temperature.
The stunning Karina shows us how to cut in just the right way. Too much movement, or not enough make or break your haloumi, so we watched carrrrrefully...
My partner in crime for the duration of the class. Liz realizsed she had been dormant in her calling and was now awakening to the joy of cheese making. Where had we been all our lives...?!?
Is this not simply ingenious?! A device designed especially by Tanya and Pam, to weigh down the haloumi so it moulds into a firm, square piece of Cypriotic goodness. Try this, but don't drink this one at home!
Ready to re-cook the haloumi. This is going to give it it's 'squeeky' texture. Like more squeek? Heat it for longer. Absolutely Gorgeous!
Ready to turn the Haloumi over to drain and salt.
Look at these glorious and proud squares. All salted and ready to cook a la fresh!
Alison and Liz toasting to a job well done. We were perfect little Haloumians and what better excuse than to enjoy a champagne and canapes brought to you by The Cheese Maker. Now...You're *gotta* love that!
So we Mystery Box Challenge. What's in your cheese box...? In ours that day, we all had ...Basil, coriander, olive oil, red chili, and lime. What would you make to accompany your haloumi? Creative minds united, and look at what we plated up for the judges!
Pretty creative! Haloumi with Lime.
Karina the demonstrator had an advantage that no one complained about: ZUCCHINI. Why? We got to eat these, and to be totally honest with you, and without any exaggeration...They were the most deliciously moist and creamy fritters I've EVER had. Serve with the sour cream and herb dip... Oh my Haloumi. God Bless Karina I say.
Liz and Alison seriously promoting the lime industry!
Brought to you by... 'Team Victoria!'
This of course, was our baby. Liz and I made Halloumi Triangles with Basil oil, caramelized garlic and chili, Fresh herbs salad with lime dressing. I mean really, Is that just not Absolutely Gorgeous? Just saying.
Seriously. Champagne, canapes and fabulous haloumi... Let the good times roll.
Everything's 'thumbs up!' about Tanya. What an enthusiastic facilitator and so full of knowledge.
The Cheese Maker
Want to know when the upcoming courses will be run? Click here!
Where is The Cheese Maker? Click here for the course venue and directions. Classes are held at The Cheese Barrel and that my fellow foodies, is a trip worth making on it's own. You will LOVE your cheese making experience. Try a class, and come back and leave a comment. What are your favorite cheeses in the whole wide world...?!?