Thursday, February 14, 2008

Noodles with tuna, halloumi and mint

To counter all of that Valentines sweetness, today I am posting about a savoury dish that I encountered in my eternal quest for non-boring lunches. I was intrigued by a dish recently posted by Peter of the excellent Kalofagas - Pursuit of Delicious Foods called Hilopites with Halloumi and Mint. It looked delicious, and Peter described it as a lazy person's pleasure - hey, this dish was made for me!

I finally got around to making my version this evening (yep, I am so lazy that I cooked my next week's worth of work lunches at dinner so that I didn't have to cook twice!), and it is pictured above. If you are tempted by my picture (which looks good for a change - I am bad at photographing savoury dishes), go to Peter's original for the "how to".

The changes that I made from the original were:

1. My supermarket didn't sell nice fat egg noodles - it only sold thin ones that are pre-cooked.

2. My supermarket didn't sell Manouri cheese, and besides, I thought a little meat would be great in this - so I added a small can of tuna in springwater (drained).

3. I didn't add the half stick of butter with the oil to the pan - it's that girly weight-conscious thing again (although this is clearly not a diet dish).

4. Instead of tawny port, I added a splash of (erh-hem) rose, being the only wine I have in the house at present (apart from a bottle of Tamborine Mountain merlot, which promises to taste like black cherries, although probably tastes like vinegar after moving through 10 years, 4 houses and poor storage).

And you know what - in spite of the wild substitutions and omissions, this tasted great! The salty tang of the fried Halloumi is the highlight of the dish, and the mint blends surprisingly well (I've never used fresh mint before, and usually associate it with sweet delights rather than savoury dishes). All I can say is try this dish - it is really good!


Peter M said...

Oh judicious one Down Under...what a surprise to see this dish, it does look great!

As for your ingredients, I too used what I had in hand and my reaction was similar to yours, one of happy surprise.

I'm pleased you notice the mint and salty halloumi contrast...yum!

As for finding egg noodles and manouri, you're shortage of Greeks and their fine gos there!

Ivy said...

Thanks for visit my blog. It's amazing what you can do with halloumi. I just made one today but this sounds so good and my children often eat spaghetti with tuna, I think your combination was excellent.

Mary said...

That looks really delicious! I can so sympathize with having to do bizarre substitutions because you can't find ingredients! As soon as I find some haloumi I'm making this dish!

Rosie said...

What wonderful flavours going on in this dish and I am feeling So hungry now! :)

Wishing you a very Happy Valentines Day Cakelaw!

I would like to present you on this Valentines Day a Red Rose

Rosie x

Laurie Constantino said...

Oh my, this looks tasty. You should have heard me suck my breath in when I opened the page! My husband said, what's wrong? He laughed when I told him it was a picture of very tasty food that took my breath away!

Emiline said...

I wish I could get Halloumi! You make me sad.

This sounds delicious, and hey, you are NOT lazy! Look at how much you cook!

Cakespy said...

Wow, it does look like in spite of (because of?) your substitutions it came out beautifully! I love hearty dishes like this.

White On Rice Couple said...

Oh thank you so much for posting a savory dish! I'm so sugared out by now, but Todd is the sweet tooth (actually, whole jaw) and he can take more. Your noodles are such a refreshing, comforting change.
Oh BTW- today ( the 15th) is our 144th month anniversary !!! So we get to celebrate...twice!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Peter, I have to stop being lazy and actually go to the markets instead of the supermarket - there's bound to be everything Greek that I ever desired there. Thanks for positing about this dish!

Hi Ivy, tuna and pasta is great. I have only really strated using pasta in cooking in the last 12 mnths, having come from a meat and 3 veg house (it's an old-fashioned Aussie thing), but I am enjoying the discovery of the many types of pastas and limitless sauces/toppings.

Hi Mary, Isn't it annoying when you can't buy what you want - my supermarket sometimes doesn't have the most basic things.

Thank you for the lovely rose, Rosie! And Happ Belated Valentines day to you too - hope your special someone treated you to something nice on the day.

Hi Laurie, The halloumi in this dish is rather breathtaking - loved it!

Thanks Emiline - it is sad that you can't get halloumi. Worth the hunt if you can track it down - fried halloumi is special. It's easy to buy here - I got it from my local Safeway which often doesn't have other stuff that I want/need.

Thanks Cakespy! This dish would be a great warmer on a cold night.

Thanks Diane. Happy anniversary!!!

Pixie said...

Peter does have some wonderful dishes doesn;t he? You did a great job. Yum!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Pixie, Thanks! Yes, there are lots of inspirational and aspirational dishes on Peter's blog.