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Seared Halloumi with Spicy Chickpeas
Seared Halloumi with Spicy ChickpeasKaroline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Traditionally made from sheep's and goat's milk (originally on the island of Cyprus), the semi-hard, brined cheese halloumi, which today may contain cow's milk, has a similar texture to mozzarella and a high melting point. That means it will hold up to grilling or searing in a hot skillet. Make sure the cheese is patted dry before you cook it because any liquid clinging to the cheese when it hits the hot oil will splatter and flare up. It's also important that the pan is very, very hot so the cheese browns on the outside without melting inside. Once it is cooked, eat halloumi right away. Here it's served with spicy chickpeas spooned on top. Serve it with a crusty loaf or thick pita as an appetizer. It can also be an entree with couscous or rice.

CHICKPEAS

1tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1tablespoon ground cumin
1tablespoon sweet paprika
1teaspoon ground coriander
¼teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
½cup water
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes, or until the onion softens and starts to brown. Add the cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more, or until aromatic.

2. Add the chickpeas, tomato sauce, water, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Keep warm.

HALLOUMI

2 packages (8 ounces each) halloumi cheese, drained
4tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Cut each piece of halloumi in half horizontally to create two 1/2-inch steaks from each piece (you'll have 4 total). Lay the cheese on paper towels and pat all sides until the pieces are very dry.

2. In a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over very high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add 2 pieces of halloumi. Sear the cheese on the first side for 2 minutes or until well browned but not melted. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until browned on the underside. Transfer to a platter. Cook the remaining halloumi in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same way. Transfer to the platter.

3. Spoon the chickpeas over the halloumi. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Traditionally made from sheep's and goat's milk (originally on the island of Cyprus), the semi-hard, brined cheese halloumi, which today may contain cow's milk, has a similar texture to mozzarella and a high melting point. That means it will hold up to grilling or searing in a hot skillet. Make sure the cheese is patted dry before you cook it because any liquid clinging to the cheese when it hits the hot oil will splatter and flare up. It's also important that the pan is very, very hot so the cheese browns on the outside without melting inside. Once it is cooked, eat halloumi right away. Here it's served with spicy chickpeas spooned on top. Serve it with a crusty loaf or thick pita as an appetizer. It can also be an entree with couscous or rice.

CHICKPEAS

1tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1tablespoon ground cumin
1tablespoon sweet paprika
1teaspoon ground coriander
¼teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
½cup water
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes, or until the onion softens and starts to brown. Add the cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more, or until aromatic.

2. Add the chickpeas, tomato sauce, water, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Keep warm.

HALLOUMI

2 packages (8 ounces each) halloumi cheese, drained
4tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Cut each piece of halloumi in half horizontally to create two 1/2-inch steaks from each piece (you'll have 4 total). Lay the cheese on paper towels and pat all sides until the pieces are very dry.

2. In a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over very high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add 2 pieces of halloumi. Sear the cheese on the first side for 2 minutes or until well browned but not melted. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until browned on the underside. Transfer to a platter. Cook the remaining halloumi in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same way. Transfer to the platter.

3. Spoon the chickpeas over the halloumi. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley.Karoline Boehm Goodnick