I first made this delightful snack/ canapé/ entree dish back in 2010 – it was a lifetime ago. I was living four different houses ago, I was in my thirties and was living next to my now good friend, who was neighbour (and still friend), Karin. I explain most of it below but this was the second course in a four course masterpiece meal that took me an entire day to prepare. It was fantastic – I actually have this regularly as a snack :). It is based on a recipe of Nigella Lawson’s and is so simple, so quick and so delightful to make. You can have this anytime – I could eat halloumi for breakfast or desert, it is so delectable. 


It is good to know that my friends are actually reading Sydney Table. I had drinks a few weeks ago with long time school friend, Michelle, who decided it was time I put my money where my mouth is and cook for a group of friends for nothing other than to get together and feast on food and each other’s company. She also came up with the awesome suggestion that everyone can pay for their meal so I was not cooking a dish that I could afford for everyone and actually cook whatever I chose. Brilliant idea and thanks Michelle.

As my place is fairly small I had to limit guests and invited Michelle, or live in her eternal wrath, Tony & Renee and my uber cool neighbor Karin, she cooks for me all the time and hand delivers food samples she is cooking every other day. Karin thought it would be much nicer to serve it on her outside deck downstairs – it is much larger and heaps nicer for entertaining. As I refused to take money for Karin she also insisted on cooking one of the four courses for the evening, and hopefully I will post her recipe for the various flavours of dumplings she cooked – these were INSANELY delicious. Tony & Renee could not get a sitter so brought their little one Ava who spent the night hanging out with Karin’s little Princess Stella. I also had a very cool assistant for the night, Finn – thanks for all the help Finn, you rock.

Menu for the Evening:
4 types of dumplings with Dipping Sauce
Nigella’s Halloumi With Chilli
Malaysian Fish Stew
Helen (from Rough Cooking)’s Chardonnay and Grape cake – with my Grand Marnier Cream

All up for all four dishes the cost of ingredients was about $200- but it was worth it!!!



BUT – course two is:
Nigella’s Halloumi With Chilli, and this dish is so easy I have no idea why I don’t have it for one meal every week. This was also the very first time I had cooked with Halloumi that I will now be using it many more times. Poor Finn had to put up with me daring him to eat everything I cooked so he could experience new things – I am pretty sure this was the only thing he did not like

This made 32 little squares.


2 tablespoons chopped de-seeded fresh red chili (about 2 medium chillies)

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

2 (250 g) packets halloumi cheese, sliced medium-thin ( just under half a cm)

juice of quarter lemon


1 – Mix the chopped chilli and olive oil in a small bowl or cup and leave the flavours to deepen while you cook the cheese.
2 – Put the slices in a non-stick frying pan for this, without any oil, and just give the cheese slices about 2 minutes a side until they’re golden-brown in parts.
3 – When all the slices of halloumi are cooked, transfer them to a couple of small plates. Give the chilli oil a stir, spoon it over the cheese, then give a spritz of lemon.





    Comment by katyzzz
    March 7th 2010 04:09
    I’d never heard of this cheese, but the recipe looks quite yummy and so easy to do.
    Nice little post here, Jason.
    Psst…. how suitable is that Karin (for a wife), it’s hard to beat a good cook.

    Comment by Jason King
    March 7th 2010 04:47
    Hi Katyzzzzzzzzz
    Care of Wiki:
    Halloumi or haloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese that is also popular in the rest of the Middle East and Greece, and is now made the world over. It is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, although some halloumi can be bought that also contains cow’s milk. It has a high melting point, and so can easily be fried or grilled. Halloumi is set with rennet, and is unusual in that no acid or acid-producing bacterium is used in its preparation.

    It’s a great snack and there are so many recipes that you can spruce it up with.

    LOL – Karin is lovely, and a great friend – but marrying her would ruin my complete gayness. This way – we can pass meals over the fence. She reminds me of that character from “Home Improvements” – we talk over the fence and share a wine occasionally.

    Comment by Helen Randell
    March 7th 2010 21:27
    Yum! I love Haloumi – and this one looks as though it really plays on the subtle flavours of the cheese.

    Another friend of mine was trying out the chardonnay cake this weekend – it’s a winner.

    Glad the evening went well Jason!

    Comment by AmyHuang
    March 7th 2010 22:18
    Your lucky friends! Thanks for sharing the recipe tho – I love Halloumi! But will need to come up with a chilli alternative – can’t take chilli that well!

    Comment by katyzzz
    March 8th 2010 00:16
    I wondered about that Jason, but took the plunge anyway, but oh what a waste of a good looking guy.

    I’m not really a predator but we girls need to seek out all our opportunities, if not for ourselves for others.

    You seem happy enough nowadays and that’s great.

    But how can you be sure?

    Comment by Lara M
    March 8th 2010 06:15
    Sounds like a great night, JK

    Comment by Jason King
    March 8th 2010 07:58
    it does have a lot of subtelty to it Helen – but the chilli is not hot and compliments it nicely. The lemon also throws a splash of zing into it.

    And HELL YES that cake is a hit – everyone loves it – although they all thought I was a little heavy handed in the grand marnier cream Me loved it hahahaha

    Comment by Jason King
    March 8th 2010 08:00
    Amy – you could put anything over it – maybe a tomato based sauce – I was even thinking how I would love halloumi with warm buuter and cinammon sugar

    Comment by Jason King
    March 8th 2010 08:06
    Hahahahahaha – thanks Katyzzzz, blushes

    Very happy nowadays but I am wasting away – don’t meet too many gay guys so am so single I am considering becoming a nun But I will make a great house husband one day soon I hope.

    I am very sure – tried it all LOL – u have put a big smile on my face.

    Comment by Jason King
    March 8th 2010 08:08
    Thanks Lara – it was an insanely brilliant night – and wait until I have the time to post the main recipe – it was to die for

    Comment by Samantha Elley
    March 22nd 2010 03:16
    Hi Jason,
    Just came across your recipe..Yu-hum! I love haloumi and have cooked with it before but your recipe is a cinch.

    Shall give it a go.


    Comment by Jason King
    March 22nd 2010 07:23
    It’s nice and easy Sam – glad u found it and like it – I need to pull my finger out and post more of the meals from this night – too busy playing with my new Mac – I am in love

    Comment by Samantha Elley
    March 22nd 2010 07:46
    Oooh Jason, I am so happy for you….LOL! I wait in anticipation for the other courses.


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