I am a see-it-want-to-eat-it kind of gal.
I am 100% guilty of spotting someone eating a packet of Thai green curry flavoured rice crackers as they stroll out of M&S and consequentially taking an impromptu detour to M&S - immediately.
True story (and there are many more where that came from!). How can you not be intrigued by green coloured crackers?
This see-it-want-to-eat-it attitude is not the healthiest when combined with Instagram. I’m surprised I haven’t drooled all over my phone yet.
Instagram is ridiculous. Gawking at well presented, tasty looking food is one thing. But gawking at well presented, tasty looking food through a filtered lens is torture. Pure torture!
Search “#food” and you’ll see what I mean.
Having said that. I am guilty of adding to this torture.
My entire Instagram is littered with “#food”.
And really, it isn’t all bad. My list of ‘restaurants to try’ has grown extensively as a result of Instagram gawking; along with my list of ingredients to experiment with.
That’s where how this recipe came about. Foodies have raved about panko (amazingly crispy Japanese breadcrumbs) since the beginning of time, it seems. So, I decided it was about time I checked out what all the fuss is about.
Result? Surprise, surprise - I am all over this rave. Panko breadcrumbs are the Godfather of breadcrumbs. They live up to their hype.
In an effort to satisfy my craving for crispy, breaded, fried cheese...
... (a direct result of the see-it-want-to-eat-it attitude – thanks to Kush via Whatsapp) I have made Panko Halloumi Sticks with Caramelised Oranges and Mint.
Orange and halloumi is a winning combination. Unusual but it works. Caramelising the oranges gives this dish another dimension. Mint freshens things up. And panko gives it a crisp crunch.
The halloumi sticks can be deep fried or baked in the oven for the healthier option (also deep frying can be a bit of a kerfuffle). Either way, this recipe is a great sharing recipe and goes well with a generous helping of spring sunshine!
Panko Halloumi Sticks with Caramelised Oranges and Mint (serves 4)
250g halloumi, cut into 1½ cm width finger sticks
100g plain flour
200ml yoghurt, loosen with a little water
100g panko breadcrumbs
1tsp dried parsley
2 oranges, segmented without any pith
½ a small red onion, chopped into small cubes
10 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
1) Cut the halloumi into finger sticks. Try and keep them around the same size.
2) Get dredging! Set up your dredging station. One bowl of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. The next bowl with yoghurt. And the final bowl with the breadcrumbs, season the breadcrumbs and add the dried parsley.
Now start by coating each halloumi stick with flour. Then dunk into the yoghurt. Shake off the excess yoghurt and go straight into the breadcrumbs.
3) Lay out the breaded halloumi onto a baking sheet covered in olive oil. Drizzle the sticks with a little olive oil.
4) Bake the halloumi sticks in a preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 200ºC or until golden brown. Turn half way through cooking to ensure even browning.
5) Segment the oranges and sprinkle with a little sugar. Caramelise in a hot pan. Turn frequently until you can see the oranges char a caramel brown colour. This should take about 5 minutes.
6) Chop the onion finely and tear the mint. Set aside ready to adorn the halloumi and oranges.
7) Assemble the dish by arranging a few orange segments over a pile of halloumi sticks. Sprinkle over the crunchy onion and fresh mint to serve.
Until next time...