Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chicken, Haloumi, and Preserved Lemon Skewers

Chicken with Haloumi

Cheese is good. Hot, gooey, melted cheese is even better. So when I saw the cover of Donna Hay's magazine issue #37, I knew that I had to try it. I had everything that I needed to make it except for preserved lemon. I've searched all over for some preserved lemon, but alas, it is not to be found in my neck of the woods (or at least not found by me) and I haven't the time to make any right now. I finally decided I wasn't going to let that stop me, since I had lots of frozen lemon zest and some juice, maybe I could just use that and see how it worked out.

I have conflicting things to say about this recipe. First of all my skewers were kind of thick, and when I speared the cheese, it started to split. Then when I began grilling, it started falling off the skewers. The cheese was ready before the chicken cubes were. I was able to gather up the melted blobs of cheese and pile them on my bread. I was so sad, because this was the first time Donna Hay has ever let me down. But then I tasted it, and immediately she was back on the pedestal that I have her firmly placed on. This was so good. So amazingly good. The freshness of the lemon, the richness of the cheese, the chicken, everything, fantastic. I did make fresh bread (naan), which I served with it. I had forgotten how easy and tasty naan was. The recipe does tell you to use a nonstick frying pan or a barbecue hot plate, and I tried grilling it, which was my main problem. I think next time I will use my grill pan, so that I don't risk losing any of the glorious cheese. Also, I didn't serve it with the spinach leaves (didn't have any), instead I just grilled some eggplant for along side it.

Chicken, Haloumi and Preserved Lemon Skewers
Serves 4

2 chicken breast fillets, trimmed and cut into cubes
16 oz haloumi cheese
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil (for marinade)
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon, flesh removed and the rind rinsed (I used lemon zest)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of oregano
pita bread for serving
baby spinach leaves for serving
lemon wedges for serving

Place the chicken, haloumi, lemon juice, olive oil, preserved lemon (or zest), garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine. Cover and place the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or grill plate over medium heat. Thread the chicken, haloumi and oregano onto skewers and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with the pita bread and baby spinach leaves and lemon wedges.

Bookmarked Recipes

This will be my entry for this week's Bookmarked Recipes, which you can find the roundup at Ruth's Kitchen Experiments.


Mike of Mike's Table said...

Too bad about messy difficulties. THat would certainly set me off. It certainly sounds delicious though!

maybelle's mom said...

i am sorry it was messy because the combinations sound wonderful. I love all the ingredients.

Marjie said...

I've never had haloumi, but I do adore cheese. I made myself a tuna melt for lunch today, and my dearly beloved wanted to know if there was anything besides cheese on that plate. Your combination of ingredients sounds tasty; I love chicken with lemon!

Paula said...

Oh have mercy! That looks terrific! I think that the grilled eggplant was a wonderful substitution. Appreciate your critiquing the grilling experience as well, since I would have been tempted to grill this. I've never made anything skewered by wasn't prepared on the grill! I think I'm going to have to check out Donna Hay's magazine ... oh dear, I wonder if my "thing" about cookbooks will transfer over to magazines now, too!

Lisa said...

Hi, just found your blog! It's terrific! I'm looking forward to searching back and reading thru your posts. I do have a question about how you get your pics to post so big! They are beautiful. I try to get my photos to post larger but I always lose the border. How do you do that?? LOL

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Technical difficulties aside, these look delicious! I would love to see your naan bread.

We finally got the courage to make preserved lemons the other day. However, I think it will still be several weeks before we can use them. Maybe 2 months. I can't wait to make all these preserved lemon recipes.

Grace said...

the taste of gooey melted cheese can rescue just about anything, can't it...
this all sounds amazing, and i think your naan looks stellar. :)

Lisa said...

Just came across your blog. It is wonderful. I have always wanted to try haloumi cheese as this looks delicious.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pam, I have had an eye on this recipe forever! And it looks so pretty and delicious.
Donna has several wonderful recipes and I'm sorry to hear the making of this one let you down. But I'm glad you shared it with us, since I'll be careful when I make it , too!

Pam said...

Mike - I need to make the preserved lemons that I've bookmarked from when you made them!

Maybelle's mom - yes, it was messy, but the flavors more than made up for it.

Marjie - you have really got to try some. It has the best flavor!

Paula - the jump from cookbooks to mags is so easy. And there is no turning back.

Lisa - I use html to size the photos instead of letting blogger do it.

Eatingclub - I'm going to make some too. I keep reading about how good they are.

Grace - thanks! I seriously considered a picture of the naan alone. It was so good!

Lisa - this was my first time trying it, and I loved it! I wish it wasn't so expensive. Welcome to my blog!

Patricia - well, Donna didn't really let me down, since I didn't follow her instructions completely. She is still my favorite!

Natashya said...

I want to try to make preserved lemons one day. This summer the lemons are so expensive that hubby refuses to buy more than 2 at a time!
I love the look of your skewers, I have to try haloumi one day.

Sarah said...

Wow! This photo is incredible, and I have never had haloumi, but it sounds interesting. And that damn Donna Hay, her books get me everytime I'm in the bookstore because of her incredible photos. :)

Ruth Elkin said...

Hoy gooey melted cheese is awesome!!!! this is a fab recipe! Tho sorry you had a few difficulties. Still looks worth it!

Thanks for sending it to bookmarked recipes!

Kevin said...

That looks good. Great way to incorporate some tasty halloumi.

SweetDesigns said...

doh..dang the messy!! but sometimes its the great end results that make it worth it =) Your dish looks great! and sounds super tasty!

preppy little dress said...

i love eggplant, i have a really good eggplant crab cakes recipe on my blog from costal living - yummy!

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