Friday, October 23, 2009

Home Made Halloumi Cheese and Ricotta





It is easy to make Halloumi and ricotta at home, no special equipment required except for a cheese or brewer termomether.
I started with 2l of milk, full-cream and not homogenized (unfortunately not raw...)
In a large stainless steel saucepan heat the milk to 32C (use the termometer) and then add the rennet (animal or vegetable). I used 2ml dissolved in 2ml of cold water, but if you use industrial rennet you may need less. Follow the manufacturers' instructions. Let the milk set for 45-60 minutes, covering the pot with a lid and keeping the temperature constant on 32C (you may like to place the pot into a bigger pot with hot water, or wrap it with a warm towel).
When the milk is set cut into 1 to 2 cm squares. If the pot is deep also cut across with a slotted spoon.
Wait 5 minutes, then take to 35-38C and stir gently with your hand for 30 minutes, keeping the temperature constant.
At this stage the squares will look smooth and lightly elastic. Wait 5 more minutes, then lift the cheese up with a slotted spoon and place into a basket or colander lined with cheese cloth or gauze. I used a steamer, which has holes in the bottom and sides. Cover with more cloth and place a weight on top (I used a pot filled with 2l of water). Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime make the ricotta, which is a byproduct of Halloumi.
Ricotta
Heat the leftover whey to 90C, then add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Gently stir and cook for 5 minutes. The foam forming on the top is the ricotta.
Lift the ricotta up with a slotted spoon and place in a small colander lined with gauze. With my leftover whey I could just make enough ricotta for a Barbie doll, but it is fun to make. Refrigerate the ricotta for one night.
Now cut the Halloumi cheese into pieces and cook in the leftover whey (after lifting the ricotta up) at 85-90C for about 20/30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The cheese will rise to the surface.
Take the cheese slices out, add a pinch of salt on each side, and a little dried mint (optional) then fold each slice into two.
Make a brine with 50% leftover whey, 50% boiling water and 10% salt (i.e. 100g of salt for every litre of liquid). Keep the Halloumi in this brine for up to two weeks, in the fridge.
To cook: Halloumi can be cooked under the grill, in a frying pan or on the barbeque. No oil is needed. Lightly rinse from the brine and cook until lightly golden.

Here with bruschetta and rucola (rocket salad).

And if you want to make mozzarella at home (and an even tastier ricotta) I have the step by step instructions here.

87 comments:

  1. Dear visitor to Home Made Halloumi Cheese and Ricotta:

    Statistics say that this is the most read topic in this blog. Interesting, also because it has only one comment (and yet so many visits...every day in fact!).

    If you read this could you please leave a comment and let me know if you tried to make Halloumi at home, and if this recipe was useful to you?

    Thank you
    Alessandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we keep a few milk goats, and I was looking for a new cheese to try making to use up some milk :-) Halloumi was recommended by a cheese chat site The previous attempt didn't suggest cooking it in the whey, or say how much salt to use...so I will try this method next

      Liz of Washington State, usa

      Delete
  2. I came here by way of http://madgnomes.blogspot.com/
    I don't know if I'll try home made halloumi, but I did forward the link to your post to a friend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't tried it yet but definitely intend to, because I love halloumi and it's quite expensive in most places. Will update this if I'm successful. Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the comments, keep them coming, this post is my most visited, every day in fact!

    ciao
    A.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I must to say the cheese drives me crazy, I approach every time for eat cheese and I add in my recipes all the time. I read some days ago the cheese have many properties and vitamin. The most important thing is the potassium and calcium the cheese contain. I am sure that When i buying my house through costa rica homes for sale i will prepare a dinner for all my friends and I will add many cheese. That will be wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Alessandra,

    First I'd like to thank you for sharing your recipe. I've just come back to Vancouver from a year spent in Melbourne where there is a big Greek & Turkish community and that is where I also fell in love with this cheese... pan fried, freshly crack black and white pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice... how could you not like it?!

    I'm most definitely going to try making it because I have yet to find a good version where I live.

    I'll let you know how it all works out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Grazie per la ricetta (ma non so se riuscirò mai a rifarla; sono un po' una sciattona, in verità :-) bisogna vedere chi vince tra la pigrizia e l'ingordigia!

    ReplyDelete
  8. made the halloumi and ricotta this afternoon, haven't tasted it yet but the consistency is as good as the good quality store bought ones, I'm sure I won't be disappointed! Thank you so much, this recipe was so easy to follow (much easier than making mozzarella!).
    Yum!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Alessandra: Thank you for this recipe, i am looking forward to making Halloumi at home. I love it so much and I have to drive to a specialty store 35 miles away to buy it and it is very expensive. I do have a question. The Halloumi I love is made from sheep"s milk, will I be disappointed in the taste made with cow's milk? I have access to Goat's milk and understand some people make it with a mixture of Goat and Cow milk. I have no idea if sheep milk is even sold. Let me know your thoughts on taste of different kinds of milk and mixtures of milk in making Halloumi.
    Thanks
    Euphemia

    ReplyDelete
  10. Euphemia, goat milk is the best, but it will produce less cheese. I cannot get it easily, so I use cow milk.
    I don't know where you live, so sheep milk could be even more difficult to get.

    Try with the cow milk first anyway, as it is easier (and less expensive, to make your first cheese!).

    ciao
    Alessandra

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you Allesandra, I am keen to try just wonder where you buy your full cream unhomogenised milk in NZ? Also how much cheese does it make?

    ReplyDelete
  13. We buy raw milk from a place in Hawkes bay, I understand they deliver to quite a few places. There is a website called cottagecrafts.co.nz where you can buy cheese making supplies and they also have a milk map of New Zealand with places that sell raw milk (goat and cow): http://www.cottagecrafts.co.nz/dnn/MilkMap/tabid/66/Default.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Natacha, I look into the sites you've given me

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am not sure where you live Sue, but there are different farm in NZ who sell up to 5 l or raw milk at the gate.

    I use 2 l to make the recipe above, and got 4 pieces of halloumi

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you both Natacha & Alessandra, for your comments I'll have to try the "knock on farmer's door" advice. I live in Katikati. Thanks also for answering my query as to how much cheese it yields. I will definitely try it out once I source the milk, however at present I'm busy harvesting and storing my summer vegetables yum!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice job! Reading your post makes me want to try again. I cooked the halloumi I made in a cast-iron skillet and liked it a lot. Great photos too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you very much for the recipe! Just finished a batch with 4 liters of milk and it came out wonderfully. We live in Taiwan, getting cheeses here is both difficult and expensive. Luckily we get raw organic cow's milk easily (delivered), so we'll be making this more often.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Barbie ricotta! I guess you need to make a lot more halloumi to make more huh?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sasa, I got more ricotta with this method here http://alessandrazecchini.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/making-mozzarella-and-ricotta-at-home.html

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Alessandra! I have been reading various blogs for making Halloumi and I just wanted to ask you if you ever tried making Halloumi using culture starters and if they have any difference in the taste of cheese and its softness.
    Thank you for the recipe. I also intend buying your book Savour.
    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Tom,
    once during a cheese making class we made feta and Halloumi from the same batch, and since feta need culture it also went into the holloumi. I am sure that culture makes it more tasty, but since you boil this cheese, and then pan fry it, and use herbs and lot of salt, the variation is not noticeable. I didn't notice any difference in softness myself, I think that I notice that when I cut the curd though, if I do it too small the cheese will be harder. The important thing for me is just to use good milk to start with.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Made this yesterday, took a while to get a set and a bit more rennet, but got there in the end - easy to follow instructions and useful pictures. It was a success and very yummy. Will make it again using this recipe - thank you so much for sharing it with us. Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Fiona, I am glad that it went well. For the rennet, I found that different types have different strength so I guess that it is just a question of finding the right dosage for yours. And I am sure that milk quality is important.

    Ciao
    Alessandra

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is a great post, Alessandra - don't know why I haven't seen it before - and I can see why it is so popular. I have been meaning to have a go at making haloumi for ages - I think You've just moved it up the list to a project for this weekend.

    Incidentally, I have had a good yield for making ricotta from allowing the whey to stand at room temperature over night.

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  29. Hi Alessandra, I just arrived here having googled "make halloumi cheese". Imagine my happy surprise to discover you are a fellow Aucklander!

    Great to have such a clear recipe to follow, and to know that it works with our local ingredients. Will try it and report back.

    Claire.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Welcome Claire, let me know how it goes :-).

    Ciao
    A.

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  54. Rivercottage, Wakefield NZJanuary 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Hi Alessandra
    Thanks for posting your recipe. I got you on google. Have just made my first attempt at halloumi / ricotta - a 5 litre batch - the halloumi is brining just now but I fried some off to test texture and.....really good!

    I used milk from Wangapeka Dairies Nelson NZ - it is 15 second pasteurised but not Ultra Pasteurised (= dead). Because of the special offers they had going (I bought milk on New Year's Eve) I bought skimmed milk green top plus cream to make it up to blue milk. Your recipe worked perfectly except that my cheese curds cooked much quicker (15 mins of hand stirring instead of 30) - maybe that was because the pot got a little too hot beforehand. Anyway, beautiful result, just waiting to taste how much salt the cheese pieces absorb from the brine. I tested for fry-ability after poaching the cheese pieces and the texture and crispiness was lovely. Have tasted my ricotta and there was enough to feed at least 20 Barbie dolls. Ricotta is just waiting for basil, maybe lemon zest etc. and some imagination. Thanks again.....xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad that you had a success, and made more ricotta :-). I can make more now that I am more patient and collect it over time (see the instructions in the link at the end of the post).

      Ciao
      Alessandra

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  77. Hello - I made the cheese tonight, but after scanning lots of recipes and using Vegeren I ended up using 2 teaspoons of rennet to only 2 litres of milk! But it worked - set very well. I skipped the reheating step after the curds had been cut and left to rest for half an hour... just added them straight to the colander and pressed whey out. When I returned it to the hot whey the pieces floated to the top in a matter of minutes! It's now brining - i hope it tastes ok. I'd be interested to know if others have managed to make it so quickly or whether the taste will be compromised due to my mistakes? Also - had anyone made tasty mygost from the leftover whey? Mine works texture-wise but the taste is all wrong. Many thanks!

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