Hazelnut Crusted Haloumi Cheese with Champagne Poached Pears and Roasted Beets
Chef Jeff McInnis of The DiLido Beach Club – Miami, FL
Adapted by StarChefs.com
March 2008

Yield: 12 Servings


    Hazelnut Crusted Haloumi Cheese with Champagne Poached Pears and Roasted Beets by Chef Jeff McInnis of The DiLido Beach Club  Miami, FL on StarChefs.comRoasted Beets:
  • 10 shallots, diced
  • 1 quart red wine
  • 10 small yellow beets
  • 1 quart white wine
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
    1 Tablespoon star anise
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 10 small red beets
  • 1 cup olive oil

    Poached Pears:
  • ½ bottle Champagne
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 7 star anise
  • 1 Tablespoon whole toasted coriander seed
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 baby Forelli pears, peeled

    Caramelized Pear Jam:
  • 5 unripe Asian pears
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
  • Zest of 2 lemons

    Donka Spice:
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Nigella seeds
  • 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seed
  • 1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seed
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • Salt and pepper

  • 100 mint leaves
  • ½ liter olive oil
  • ½ liter canola oil
  • Pepper
  • 6 pounds of Haloumi cheese

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin oil
  • 1 head fennel, shaved
  • 1 Tablespoon organic flower petals
  • 1 Tablespoon fleur de sel
  • 20 mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 4 mint blossoms

For the Roasted Beets:
In two small sauce pots, sauté five shallots in each until translucent. In one pot add red wine, red beets, 5 cloves garlic, ½ quart orange juice, ½ tablespoon coriander, ½ tablespoon star anise, ½ tablespoon peppercorns and 1 sprig thyme. In the other pot, add white wine, yellow beets and remaining garlic, orange juice and spices and herb. Cook the beets until liquid is reduced by half, and cover with aluminum foil and place in oven until beets are cooked. Let cool and peel each beet. Strain red beet liquid through a chinois and combine with 2 red beets in blender and puree with olive oil until smooth. Repeat with yellow beet liquid and yellow beets. Reserve purees separately. Slice remaining beets and reserve separately.

For the Poached Pears:
Bring Champagne, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seed, and sugar to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the pears and cook for 14 minutes. Transfer pears to ice bath and reserve.

For the Caramelized Pear Jam:
Peel and cut the pears into small dice and quickly place into a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, and zest and cook until caramelized. Season.

For the Donka Spice:
Combine hazelnuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a 275˚F oven until nuts are golden brown. Remove from oven and chop roughly. In a sauté pan, toast Nigella seeds, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds and combine with hazelnuts and sumac in a bowl and season.

For the Haloumi:
Bring a gallon of water to a boil and add salt. Blanch mint leaves for 10 seconds, strain and transfer to ice water. Drain water from mint leaves and transfer to blender. Add oils and puree until smooth. Add pepper and strain through a fine chinois. Cut haloumi into 12 portions, cover with oil mixture and reserve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Press Donka Spice into Haloumi. Brown Haloumi on all sides with a small amount of mint oil in sauté pan. Transfer to oven until warmed all the way through. Remove from oven and dice. Combine with Pear Jam, olive oil, fennel, flower petals and fleur de sel. Quarter poached pears and remove seeds. Place Haloumi on a plate and arrange Poached Pears and Beets. Garnish with mint leaves and mint blossoms.


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