Roasted Bell Peppers Miniature Skewers with Halloumi Cheese

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Here’s another summertime barbecue recipe. Some think that a night-time meal around the BBQ has to involve meat to involve flavor but this recipe aims to change that opinion. The Halloumi cheese has a really distinct taste coming off the barbecue that compliments a dark tannic wine like only a nice cheese can. Packaging it with some herbs and wrapped in a fresh bell pepper makes for a pretty original presentation and it really brings out the character of the cheese. All in all it’s a pretty satisfactory package that won’t leave anyone feeling their palette fully massaged, which makes it a nice alternative to a hamburger or similar grilled meats.

Now about the Halloumi: This is a Middle Eastern cheese (that is delicious) with a high melting point that makes it perfect for grilling and cooking. You can find it in most Lebanese food stores. Now, the cheese is stored in brine which makes it a bit salty so you may want to soak it in water for a few hours beforehand to remove some of the saltiness, unless you like that sort of thing. It’s pretty unorthodox and if you’re looking for something entirely new you should really try this dish!

Here are the ingredients for 16 skewers:
400 g Halloumi cheese, cut into sixteen 2 x 1 inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, with seeds removed and cut into 8 strips
30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
15 ml (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 ml (1 teaspoon) chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

And here’s what you need to do:
1.) (Unless you like salty things) Soak the cheese in a bowl with cold water to desalinate it. Throw out the water afterwards, set the cheese aside.
2.) Throw the peppers in with the olive oil, vinegar, rosemary and garlic into a bowl. Toss it around until well mixed and coated, and add a suitable quantity of salt and pepper.
3.) Preheat the grill to a high temp.
4.) Skewer one end of a bell pepper with a piece of cheese right after it. Fold both over until you can skewer the other end (so that the cheese makes a “U” shape inside the pepper). Do this until you’re out of bell peppers and cheese.
5.) Lay the skewers on the grill with the pepper side pointing downwards and grill for two minutes, then flip the skewers over and grill for two more.

Guest post written by: Ricardo who is based in Quebec, Ricardo’s passion and personality shines through his recipes. For nine years he has hosted Ricardo on CBC’s French-language network and also hosts Ricardo and Friends on the Food Network. A recipient of the Canadian Culinary Book Awards, Ricardo has made it his passion to be active in youth issues. He is the spokesman for La Tablée des Chefs, an organization that offers cooking classes and summer camps for disadvantaged youth, among other programs.

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