Fried Halloumi "Curds" with Muhammara and Pickled Crudité
Total: 1 hr 15 min(includes pickling time)
Active: 30 min
1 of 4 servings
This dish came to me, like all my mediocre ideas, right in those first few groggy minutes of my morning awakening. I love muhammara and any vibrant, roasted red pepper-based dip and lord knows I love me some fried cheese. These are, like, two of my favorite things and the squeaky texture of halloumi reminds me of the grand champion of fried cheese cuisine – the Wisconsin fried cheese curd.
For the halloumi curds: Set up a deep fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder in a large bowl, then whisk in the beer. Let the batter sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
Dip the halloumi cubes into the batter and drain off any excess. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, then transfer to a sheet tray lined with a wire rack so they don’t get soggy.
For the pickled crudité: Bring the vinegar and water to a boil in a pot, then reduce to a simmer. Once at a simmer, take off the heat and add in the mustard seeds, salt, sugar, crushed red pepper and garlic. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Combine in a glass bowl with the veggies. Let cool and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
For the muhammara: Place everything MINUS the crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add in the crackers and pulse 5 times. Taste, adjust seasoning and, if too thick (looking for a texture similar to hummus) add a little more olive oil. Pulse a couple more times.
To serve: Place the muhammara into a bowl and using a spoon, make a divot in the center. Pour a little olive oil in the divot and sprinkle some Aleppo pepper as well as some crushed walnuts. Top with the halloumi curds and pickled crudité.
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