Friday, February 4, 2011

Mustafa's Hellim, Also Known as Halloumi


Mustafa Hakkani took pictures and wrote out his step-by-step directions.

A week ago, I posted an article about Mustafa (click here) and in it, I promised to post his recipe for Hellim.  I was a little bit confused about the name, so I asked him to explain:

"With regards to Halloumi and Hellim, the cheese is the same. However, in Europe and Greece the cheese is called "Halloumi," whereas in Turkey we call it "Hellim." The taste is the same. When it's sold in America and Europe, however, it is usually referred to as "Halloumi." In Turkey and Cyprus it is sold as Hellim."




Mustafa with his helper, ASIK ALi




He added, "After writing this, I understand how hard it is to prepare these recipes and I want to thank you for all the work you have done.   May the Lord of the Heavens bless you and your continued efforts."

The recipe is given below and then again with the pictures.  It will yield approximately one pound of ricotta and two pounds of Hellim. We are very grateful to Mustafa for showing us how to make this cheese.







Mustafa's Hellim

Ingredients:

2 gallons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
1/2 pint whole milk
4 oz. white vinegar
5 Tbs. salt
5 Tbs. dry mint
For brine:  1/2 gallon of why and 1 cup salt

Directions:

Heat the milk to 90°F.
Add the liquid rennet and stir slowly for 2 minutes.
Cover and allow to set 45 minutes.
Break the curds with your hands, making sure that don't leave any big curds.
Let set for 5 minutes.
Take all the curds and transfer into colander lined with cheesecloth.
Drain the whey into a pot and keep it. (Because you will need that whey for cooking the Hellim.)

Press the curds with your hands and make sure that it is tight.
Then, press at 50 pounds for 2 hours.  (Usually I don't use cheese mold for Hellim.)

While waiting for the cheese to press, start boiling the whey.
When the temperature reaches 135°F add 1/2 pint whole milk and stir.  (We add the milk because more ricotta will come out.)

When the whey starts boiling, add 4 oz white vinegar and wait for 5 minutes.
You will see the whey turning into ricotta cheese.
After this, the whey's color will change.  This part is very important because you have to take out all the ricotta cheese from the whey.

After 2 hours remove the cheese from the press and gently peel away the cheesecloth.
Put the cheese on cutting board and cut into 6 blocks.

Now is time to cook Hellim:

Bring the whey temperature to boiling. When it starts boiling, put the cheese blocks inside the hot whey slowly.

It will take 30-40 minutes to cook.  During this time prepare mixture of mint and salt.

When the  blocks are cooked, they will rise and float on top.
Ladle them into separate bowls and let sit for 10 minutes.
After 5 minutes, flip each block and squeeze some juice out with the ladle.

When the blocks have cooled, take each one, press it a little with your hands, and rub on the mint/salt mix. Then fold the block in half and rub more mix on the outside of it.
While doing this, it is important to continue squeezing the block, not too tight, but enough to remove any excess juice.
Place the blocks on a tray and let them cool.

While they are cooling you can prepare the brine.  To prepare the brine, you use a half gallon of water with a half gallon of whey, and add one cup of salt.
Submerge the Hellim in the brine and put it in the refrigerator.  After one week, the Hellim is ready, but it may be stored in brine for up to a year.

Pictures of Mustafa Making Hellim
 

Heat the milk to 90°F.
Add the liquid rennet and stir slowly for 2 minutes.
Cover and allow to set 45 minutes.
Break the curds with your hands, making sure that don't leave any big curds.
Let set for 5 minutes.
Take all the curds and transfer into colander lined with cheesecloth.
Drain the whey into a pot and keep it. (Because you will need that whey for cooking the Hellim.)
Press the curds with your hands and make sure that it is tight.
Then, press at 50 pounds for 2 hours.  (Usually I don't use cheese mold for Hellim.)
While waiting for the cheese to press, start boiling the whey.
When the temperature reaches 135°F add 1/2 pint whole milk and stir.  (We add the milk because more ricotta will come out.)
When the whey starts boiling, add 4 oz white vinegar and wait for 5 minutes.
You will see the whey turning into ricotta cheese.

After this, the whey's color will change.  This part is very important because you have to take out all the ricotta cheese from the whey.
After 2 hours remove the cheese from the press and gently peel away the cheesecloth.
Put the cheese on cutting board and cut into 6 blocks.
Now is time to cook Hellim:
Bring the whey temperature to boiling. When it starts boiling, put the cheese blocks inside the hot whey slowly.
It will take 30-40 minutes to cook.
During this time prepare mixture of mint and salt.
When the  blocks are cooked, they will rise and float on top.
Ladle them into separate bowls and let sit for 10 minutes.
After 5 minutes, flip each block and squeeze some juice out with the ladle.
When the blocks have cooled, take each one, press it a little with your hands, and rub on the mint/salt mix.
Then fold the block in half and rub more mix on the outside of it. 
While doing this, it is important to continue squeezing the block, not too tight, but enough to remove any excess juice.
 Place the blocks on a tray and let them cool.

While they are cooling, you can prepare the brine.  To prepare the brine, you use a half gallon of water with a half gallon of whey, and add one cup of salt.

Submerge the Hellim in the brine and put it in the refrigerator.  After one week, the Hellim is ready, but it may be stored in brine for up to a year.

8 comments:

darius said...

Nice job, great instructions and photos!

I have a question... does the brine have to stay chilled of you keep it a year, and if so, at what temperature?

Diane said...

Fabulous! Thank you so much, Mustafa!

Robin said...

Awesome! Thanks for the recipe and the photos!

Mustafa Hakkani said...

you can keep the brine chilled for one year at 40-45°F in side the refrigerator.
thanks for all the nice comments :)

dgonano said...

Thank you for this -- it was very timely for me! I have a friend who grew up in Cyprus and she has asked me to make cheese for her. I had been looking for a Halloumi recipe, and here it is! She also is very fond of a cheese called anari, which sounds like ricotta although it can be aged. Do you know how to make this? I'd love to know more.
P.S. Your community looks like a very lovely place to be. Your animals look happy. :)

Mustafa Hakkani said...

Thank you for your comments. You're right, ricotta is also called anari and lor.In the article, there are basic instructions for making ricotta cheese. As far as I know, you cannot age fresh cheese for too long. If you would like a detailed explanation on how to make ricotta, here is a helpful site: http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/217-Ricotta.html.

Everyone is welcome to visit us in upstate New York. We are in the middle of a construction project right now, but come Spring time, we would be glad to have you as guests.

LindaM said...

Thank you Mustafa. I read your recipe after starting Rickis but used the mint flavoring and the whey brine. Your community is inspiring.

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