Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grilled Halloumi Cheese (trust me you should make this)

Ok so I want to start by saying this is not going to be a healthy blog post. There is only one main ingredient to this dish and it's cheese. Super good, salty, nutty, squeaky cheese. You will understand the squeak part when you try it.  I have made this a bunch of times and it is always a huge hit. The cheese is pricy but it's so rich you really only need 1 or maybe 2 slices a person. I normally do this as an appetizer.  This is one of the best things I have ever eaten. You can find Halloumi Cheese in some grocery stores, most specialty stores like Whole Foods but better yet if you have a local Mid East market look for it there, it's normally quite a bit less expensive and you can also grab the Zatar Spice while you are there.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese:


1 package of Halloumi Cheese
2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. of Zatar Spice (a Middle Eastern blend of spices, available in specialty stores or online)
Salt and Pepper

It's super easy to make this dish. Start by cutting the cheese into 8 even slices. Place on a paper towel to absorb any of the liquid coming out of the cheese.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and drizzle 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in the pan. Add the cheese slices and cook about 1 minute on each side until there is a nice brown crust. Don't burn them, you just want a nice light/medium brown color.

Remove from heat and drizzle with the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle over the Zatar Spice, salt and pepper.  Eat warm or at room temp. Enjoy!

*You can also if you want serve this with sliced tomato to cut the richness of the cheese, it looks very pretty that way and stretches the dish a bit further.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Buffalo Chicken and Corn Dip

Happy 4th of July!  We are going to a BBQ later today so I decided to do my own take on red, white and blue.  I love, love, love when I am able to whip something up without having to go to the store first for ingredients. I have made buffalo dips before but I don't really have a recipe per se so I knew I had some flexibility.  I am really happy with how it came out, it was fast to make, inexpensive and tastes awesome.

Buffalo Chicken and Corn Dip

Ingredients: (approx. as I didn't measure but these will be close enough, adjust to taste)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded chicken (I just left over from a roast chicken I made)
2 ears of cooked corn, remove kernels from cobb
2 cups shredded cheese (I was out of shredded and just chopped up some deli cheese, doesn't really matter which type)
2 Tbsp. hot sauce (adjust up or down based on how hot you want it)
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (reserve 1 Tbsp. for topping)
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
1 scallion sliced

In a non stock pan melt the shredded cheese and the blue cheese over low heat just until melted. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add the shredded chicken, hot sauce, corn and stir to combine. Once combined add the chicken stock to loosen it up a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to stir over low heat until everything is nicely combined. I would take a taste at this point, you may want to add more hot sauce or blue cheese depending on your preference.

Transfer to a casserole or pie dish (oven safe) and sprinkle on top the reserved blue cheese and the scallion rings.

I like to heat this up in the oven just a bit before serving so it has a nice consistency.  I suggest about 10 minutes about 300 degrees to warm through.

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!