Halloumi pitta sandwiches

You can’t see it, but there’s halloumi in this [too] ambitious sandwich.
These sandwiches are impossible to eat without making a mess, but they’re really delicious. The first time my partner made them, I requested we had them again the next day! ?

We normally make them as rolls, using tortilla wraps, but today I was feeling innovative and went for pitta breads.

Ingredients

  • Halloumi cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce (romaine)
  • Mint leaves
  • Pitta bread or tortilla wraps or similar
  • Olive oil
  • Optional: olives for extra juiciness

Preparation

Slice the halloumi and fry it in a pan until it takes some colour. Initially it might be quite watery, the colour will start showing up once the water evaporates. Then leave aside.

In parallel, have a veggie washing and slicing party. It should eventually look like this, ready to be assembled in your bread or tortilla:

Captain Obvious says: If you’re using pitta breads, you’ll have to slice them open before you put the ingredients in ‚úĆ?

Place the flattest ingredients first: cucumber, halloumi. Then the rest.

Add a little olive oil, and they’re ready to be eaten!

This is such a great combination of amazing flavours. Also, I will use this opportunity to say that halloumi cheese is one of the best things in Earth ??? … possibly one of humankind’s greatest achievements too!

Chamborado

This is quite a heavy breakfast, so I don’t recommend you go for this if you’re expecting to have a substantial lunch afterwards. But now that it’s a bit colder, this is the kind of comforting chocolatey thing I look forward to on Sunday mornings ūüôā

Ingredients:

  • 140 g round rice (paella, ‘bomba’ or risotto rice should work)
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 30 g sugar
  • any milk you like – I used coconut milk, or just water if you’re feeling spartan
  • some exotic fruit like mango or papaya to balance the sweetness, at room temperature
  • maybe other decorations like desiccated coconut
  • if you’re very fancy, maybe edible flowers? I have no idea where to get these. Maybe a couple mint leaves would be nice too ?

Preparation

  1. Prepare the chocolate: with a big knife, cut it into shavings so it’s easier to melt later. Leave aside.
  2. Prepare the fruit, if it’s not already pre-sliced, do peel and cut the mango in squares and leave aside.
  3. On a pot, put 280 ml of milk to start with, and bring to a boil
  4. When it starts boiling, add the rice, and reduce the heat so it doesn’t evaporate super quickly. Put a lid on, leave to cook and occasionally stir to avoid it getting stuck to the bottom.
  5. When it starts looking like almost all the liquid has been absorbed, you need to start adding extra water in small quantities. I suggest you use warm water as it won’t stop the process that much. Add spoonfuls of water and stir. You don’t want the rice to be overcooked, but you don’t want it raw either. So try a grain from time to time. A risotto spoon is very helpful to gently massage the rice and bring out the starch.
  6. Once the rice has released lots of its starch and it’s looking creamy, add the sugar too, stir, and see if it’s sweet enough, then correct by adding more if you want more of a kick (although take into account whether the chocolate you add later has sugar as well).
  7. In parallel, put the chocolate shavings to melt in another pot, preferably using a bain marie to avoid burning it. Or you can wait until later and just mix everything together. (I used a bain marie).
  8. When the rice is nicely cooked, and the grains don’t have a hard core anymore, add the chocolate (it should be nicely melted by now!). Or add the shavings, but bring the heat to the lowest so you don’t burn the rice. Keep gently stirring until it’s all mixed in.
  9. Serve on a deep dish or bowl. Add the fruits and any decoration you want. You could add a splash of milk to have some contrast.
  10. … and eat it! It’s very nice when warm, and the fruit provides some fresh contrast against the chocolate richness.

If you use coconut milk like I did, this is fully vegan, although it’s not very dense and so when adding the final splash it just looks very watery.

This is inspired on a recipe from Symmetry Breakfast’s book, but since I’m a rice snob I decided to ignore his rice amounts and proportions (also he doesn’t go in such detail about how to cook the rice as I went—you can tell that I have high rice standards ?). I also reduced the amount of sugar, but he was suggesting using tablea, which I had no way to source in a timely manner.

My version was a bit drier and less creamy that I expected. I should I have added way more milk or water. Oh well, I guess I can always repeat this!

Also: Apologies if you’re Filipino and this version is insulting to you ??