Recently, the lovely chaps at Expedia set me a little challenge (and you know how I love a challenge) to create a dish based on one of their favourite destinations. The destination that I was given is Cyprus, not a place I’ve ever been, so I set about having a little dig about to find out about Cypriot food. I now REALLY need to go to Cyprus, because the food is, frankly, awesome.
Oh, and can I please apologise for my photo, which is woefully below par. Sadly, I dropped my beloved iPhone 6 and smashed the screen. I’m struggling on with an old iPhone 5 of Mr E’s (I know, first world problems), but the camera is RUBBISH. Anyhoo, our research led to an epic tasting session of Cypriot cheese (gorgeous feta, incredible salty, squeaky halloumi), delicious olives, peppers, figs in syrup, wine (hmm… maybe we were just unlucky here) and other local delicacies.
Having just watched Rick Stein tucking into souvlaki on his recent Venice to Istanbul programme, we all thought we’d like to give it a go, and as I had all that stunning Cypriot halloumi, well, it would have been rude not to pop it on a skewer too. Here’s how I got on:
4 chicken breasts
1 tbsp honey (I used Cypriot thyme honey)
4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 pack halloumi
Chop the chicken into chunks, then just combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir in the chicken. Leave for at least half an hour for the chicken to absorb all the flavours. When you’re ready to cook, get the grill going (not too fierce, medium is fine) and then thread the chicken onto metal skewers alternating with chunks of halloumi.
Pop your souvlaki under the grill and keep turning until the chicken is completely cooked. The halloumi will go a little bit darker as it obviously needs slightly less cooking, but this gives it a delicious savoury crust. I served our souvlaki with flatbreads, a simple olive and tomato salad and a big dollop of hummus, but I think tzatziki would be delicious with it too, or just a massive Greek (Cypriot!) salad and some chips, frankly.
Many thanks to Expedia for our lovely Cypriot goodies and for the inspiration.