My brother, who for many years called Paris (France) home, asked me the following (very French) question last summer: Do you know how to pair Lebanese cheeses with fruits? I had to admit the idea never crossed my mind. So in the course of the year, I started thinking about what would go with what. Halloum is a Cypriot cheese, but it is so popular in Lebanon that many people consider it a Lebanese cheese. (It is produced locally as well). Halloum is one of those cheeses that should be fried in butter for its flavor and texture to stand out; today, I am suggesting pairing it with fresh apricots, pan-fried as well, for a quick and delicious appetizer or light lunch (depending on how many you consume!). I was up at 6AM to take photos of Moallem (Master) Philippe, a seasoned farmer, while he was perched on the apricot tree. A bit dangerous don’t you think? INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
- 12 sweet and ripe apricots
- 12 squares of Halloum cheese
- unsalted butter, as needed
- 1/4 cup of sugar or 3 tbsp of apricot preserves
- Place 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet. Split the apricots in half and place them round side down on the skillet; fry till they soften, adding a few pinches of sugar or the preserves half-way through. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in the oven.
- Place the squares of Halloum in the skillet, adding more butter as needed (to prevent the cheese from sticking); fry the squares 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat and remove from the skillet and place over the apricot halves. Serve immediately.
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