Pressed Halloumi Sandwich
Pressed Halloumi Sandwhich
There was this little take away around the corner from Fort Reno, in DC and this was my favourite sandwich to get before a show. They would wrap it in tin foil, it was salty, minty, juicy, halloumi hot sandwich perfection. It was also the first way I ever ate halloumi. I love this with a bowl of cream of tomato soup when I make it at home.
- ½ English Cucumber any ol' cucumber will do, this is just what we had.
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- ~15 Mint Leaves Chiffonade
- Halloumi Cheese
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large pita breads sliced in half and opened up into pockets or flat breads for 4 sandwhiches.
- Slice the tomatoes, cucumber and halloumi about ¼ inch thick – see notes for a tip. wash and dry mint leaves, then stack and roll them up and slice into a chiffonade (again about ¼ thick).
- Arrange the veggies and cheese ininside the pita pockets in the following very-important-this-bit-is-critical, order: halloumi, tomatoes, mint, cucumbers (explained in the notes below, but trust me on this).
- Brush outsides of the bread lightly with olive oil (if you're working with a griddle, just do the "down side" you can brush the other side while the first side is grilling)
- Cook in grill pan or panini press until you're happy with the marks, the bread has crisped up on the outside, and the contents are hot. If you're cooking on a griddle or in a grill pan rather than a press, give the sandwiches a press from time to time because you know, it's in the name.
Slicing: I use a mandolin that on the “thick” setting cuts to .5 cm thick. This is perfect. I also use a steel glove and will warn you – cutting halloumi this way should be done deliberately and with care. It is not like cutting the veggies. Take your time, keep your flesh. Sometimes I can’t be bothered, for example if I’m making just one sandwich, and I just use a knife. Why am I obsessed with order of the fillings on sandwiches? I don’t know, it’s a problem, but in this case, hear me out: Halloumi first, because hot cheese is where it’s at, it’s also going to give a little barrier between the juicy tomatoes and bread. Tomatoes next because they love salty, and halloumi can be a bit salty. Then you do the mint, because you want it in the middle of the sandwich so it doesn’t scorch or dry out while cooking. Cucumber last because cucumber and mint pair well and it’ll protect the mint from the heat of the press or grill. It just tastes and works better that way. Try other orders if you like, I have, you will settle on this order as optimal.
This is my recreation of a sandwich I ate at least once a week for dinner for at least one summer. I don’t remember the name of the place, but it was right there, along the road from the Dancing Crab, between the Tenleytown Metro and Fort Reno, our local outdoor summer concert venue. One year I went in and it wasn’t on the menu any more, I described it and they made it for me which, made them heroes in my book. I know I’m being a bit romantic when I say “and the next year they were gone” but it feels that way. If they’re still there, go get this sandwich, even if you have to stand there and describe it “it was on a flat bread and had cheese, and mint, and tomato and cucumber”.
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