Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Haloumi Pea Fritters and cheese reminiscences

Are you a cheese fiend? Love a bit of Gruyere, Cheddar, Brie or mild Blue?
Join the club, me too!

It wasn't always like this because cheese wasn't prevalent in our household  when I was growing up. Except for those sticks of processed soft cheese or the foil-wrapped wedges of (processed) soft cheese.
Then, when I was a teenager, our sophisticated (to me) neighbours invited us over for a dinner party and they served this cheese that had layers of walnuts embedded in it. Oh, the style and elegance of a little wheel of walnut cheese on a platter. They had other cheeses as well, but I only remember the walnut one. It was the start of my love of cheese, and I would bug my mother to buy walnut cheese at every opportunity, until I got sick of it. Do they still make walnut-layered cheese? I must keep an eye out for it, for old time's sake.

Here is a recipe using another favourite cheese, the squeaky, salty, versatile haloumi.

Haloumi and Pea Fritters
Serves 4

½ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 egg
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup chopped dill
1 tblsp finely grated lemon rind
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 cup (120g) grated haloumi
Salt and pepper
1 tblsp olive oil
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
Smoked chicken or smoked trout, to serve
Tzatziki and lemon wedges, to serve

1. Place the flour, baking powder, egg, buttermilk, dill, lemon rind, peas, haloumi, and salt and pepper to taste, in a bowl and stir well until combined.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook 2 tablespoonfuls of the batter at a time, in batches, for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through.
3. Place the fritters on a plate and top with the cucumber and smoked chicken/trout. Serve with tzatziki and lemon to squeeze over.

Recipe adapted from donna hay magazine.

Ingredients, including buttermilk, baking powder, egg, haloumi, frozen peas, lemon and cucumber.

Smoked chicken was my choice to accompany these fritters, but you could also use smoked trout or hot-smoked salmon.
The fritters are quite delicate, so be careful when putting them in the frypan. Push any wayward bits back into the fritter while they are cooking and they should stick.

Serve the golden brown fritters with a cooling tzatziki and strips of cucumber.

Didn't Monty Python have a cheese chart? Must look it up to see if walnut cheese is on it.


  1. My brother told me yesterday that his favorite cheese is American. I almost killed him.

    I do have a deep appreciation for cheese, though, and these halloumi fritters sound out-of-this-world good! I haven't heard of this walnut cheese before...but now I really want to find it!

  2. I grew up eating that processed cheese as well and now that I'm a big boy I've moved on to the deliciously stinky stuff. Love it all, including the squeeky haloumi and sharp Cheddars. Love this recipe. So simply and damn tasty, I'm sure. Cheese it to me, baby!

  3. Im not sure about walnut but they have a fruit and nut cheese in those little cheese packs you can get from Woollies lol. I love any kind of cheese and park my butt next to it at any gathering. Haloumi is totally one of my faves :)

  4. I've never seen walnut-layered cheese before...I want to try some now! haha.....My family doesn't really like cheese so I also grew up with the processed type, which I still love :) I love how you decorated these with cucumber strips....it looks so pretty! The fritters look delicious too! ;)

  5. Yep, they're still making the walnut layered cream cheese, just bought a wedge from the deli the other day and it's still just as yummy as it was all those years ago when I first tried it!

  6. Wow, the fritters look delicious. Great using chicken, I know my dad will love this recipe :)
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  7. Bel, these fritters look delicious, love the peas in it...adds color to it.
    Hope you have a great week :-)

  8. I have been curious about Haloumi cheese when I saw them at the supermarket. I am not sure how to use it and did not get to google to know more about it. Now I don't need to, I am going to try your recipe. The fritters look very delicious.

  9. DROOL! This is fantastic - fried cheese and tzatziki ... I am in love. I am similar in that 'fake' cheese was the go in our household as a child. I am more than making up for that now though ..

  10. Oh I just love halloumi, my immediate reaction when I saw this was that they would never hold together. Then I notice you mention that they are delicate. I'm sure i'll have a disastrous mess trying to produce these little gems LOL.

  11. Yes, I love cheese.
    This looks so pleasant and pretty! Bet it tastes even better!

  12. I'd like this for breakfast please! Strange how we remember certain childhood events related to foo. One of my fav memories would be riding in the car with Whitney and Lionel Richie blurring in the background whilst eating BBQ Skewers

  13. Yum! This is the kind of thing I'd be quite happy to have for brunch, lunch or dinner. A poached egg would go pretty well with it too.

  14. the cheesier the better. I will have to make this soon. and it's spring! means fresh peas :D

  15. I love cheese. I recently hosted a cheese tasting party at my house and what a fun way to try a bunch of new cheeses. Your recipes looks fabulous and I love that it could be breakfast or lunch or dinner. Can regular whole milk be used in place of buttermilk?

  16. Hi bunnyeatsdesign - cheese tasting would be so great! Yes regular milk would be fine in these fritters, maybe add some lemon juice as well, for flavor.

  17. I have wanted to buy haloumi cheese but I don't know how to use it. Now I know. Thanks for the recipe. Your fritters look very yummy and your presentation of the dish is beautiful as always.

  18. Those looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.