Sunday, December 11, 2011

Double Potato and Halloumi Bake

I've been a lurker on my own blog the last week, happy to have Tiffany back and then if occurred to me I hadn't posted anything up here is a while. Oops. Time to get back. This week you will get to see a lot more of me. I will be putting up a recipe a day that work as edible giftables. Things that you can wrap up and give away, since, 'tis the season. So swing by this week and I will have some tasty ideas. Sweet and savory.

Until then, back to my obsession love for ethnic markets, and so I thought I would share a recipe to get you out there, if you haven't been yet. Halloumi cheese, a mint-flavored sheep's milk cheese, is something you will most often find in a Turkish or Greek market or somewhere with a great cheese selection. It is salty, tangy and addictive. And just the thing to send an already perfect pan of roasted vegetables over the top.

Tiniest preview of my new dining table. You can see the whole thing later this week when we get the chairs, hooray.
Justin just asked me what I am blogging about and I informed him it was the double potato and halloumi bake I recently made. 
His interested peaked, "cake?" 
"No, bake. Roasted vegetables and that awesome cheese from the ethnic grocer on Cooper."
Slightly, less excited about vegetables than cake, but still happy. "Well, those roasted vegetables are the best way to eat vegetables."

It is. I won't lie, I roast vegetables all the time around here. Roasted anything vegetable is usually Justin's favorite way to eat them. I was talking with a friend a week and a half ago about her husband who simply does not eat vegetables, because he doesn't like them. So, I started naming off the veg recipes that Justin and the kids like best, and there was a theme. Roasted and toasted in the oven. Asparagus, beets broccoli , eggplantonions, parsnips, potatoes, you get the idea... Caramelized, tender vegetables, with a bit of a crisp exterior are all the rage around here.

This recipe is tops. Sweetness from the peppers and sweet potatoes. Tang from the cheese and mellowed, but savory garlic and onion. Pair with bread or grain of your choice and proceed to weeknight dinner heaven. 

I did increase the amount of potatoes from the original recipe, since I really did want double potatoes, and I felt the recipe felt scant without them. Tweak the vegetables a bit to accommodate what you can get this time of year, I understand that not everyone still has red peppers happening at their farmer's market or garden. Perks of Texas living.

And as a side note, if you haven't spent time diving into a Nigella Lawson cookbook, do. They are composed so enticingly and are a lovely way to spend an evening.

Double Potato and Halloumi Bake
tweaked from Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites

2 large sweet potatoes
2 large red firm potatoes
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced as thinly as you can

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sweet potato into rough 1 1/2-inch cubes and the red potato slightly smaller (1-inch cubes) as the sweet potato will cook more quickly. Halve the red onion, then cut each half into 4 to 6 segments, discarding any tough outer skin. Seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch squares, and separate the cloves of garlic. Put everything into a roasting pan or baking sheet, using your hands, give the vegetables a good coating of olive oil. Season with black pepper, but only a pinch of sea salt.

Bake for 45 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked through and here and there tinged with brown. You'll need to turn the oven up to maximum heat or light the broiler for the endgame: so place the thinly sliced cheese on top of the bake, and put it back in the very hot oven or under the broiler until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown on top, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve straight from the pan.

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