We enjoy all sorts of food on the barbecue and skewers of any sort are always welcomed. Halloumi (haloumi) is a traditional Cypriot cheese and is now made the world over. It is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, although some haloumi may also contain only cow’s milk. Haloumi has a high melting point, and so can easily be fried or grilled. Native to the Mediterranean and Western Asia, mint contains oil menthol, which gives mint that characteristic cooling, cleansing feeling. Many cultures used mint as a symbol of hospitality and it was offered as a sign of welcome to house guests. It has been used for centuries to aid digestion and relieve indigestion.
12 long thick stalks of rosemary or bamboo skewers
12 king prawns, peeled and deveined
1 pineapple, peeled and chopped into equal sized chunks
250g haloumi cheese, chopped into equal sized chunks
For the Salsa:
5 large red chillies, pricked with a fork
1 lime, finely grated zest and juice only
1 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons peanut, groundnut or corn oil
small bunch of mint, leaves only, chopped
1 vine-ripened tomato, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Strip the leaves from the rosemary stalks, keeping a tuft at the top. Soak stalks or skewers in cold water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the barbecue.
To make the salsa, cook the chillies on a hot griddle plate or barbecue until charred. Place in a small bowl and cover with cling film. When cool, remove the skin and seeds and tear the flesh into strips. Place in a clean bowl and toss with the lime zest and juice, sugar, oil, mint and tomatoes.
Thread a prawn, a piece of pineapple and a piece of cheese onto each skewer. Repeat once more, finishing each skewer with a prawn. Grill on a hot griddle pan or barbecue until the prawns are cooked through and the pineapple and cheese are slightly charred, about 5-8 minutes. Serve with a good drizzle of salsa.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Chili peppers when prepared like this tend to be less fiery with a touch of sweetness coming through. I love how the sweet and spicy flavors of the salsa compliments the prawn and haloumi without too much dominance. Any easy dish to prepare and one that will not last long on the plate.