Vegetarians, rejoice! You can now get down on this deep fried halloumi burger topped with avocado crema, smokey tomato jam, crispy cucumber and fresh greens on a toasted bun!
RECIPE AND INTRO BY SPASIA PANDORA DINKOVSKI
This recipe is based on nothing but my love for cooking for my drunk friends - that’s how I started to cook in the first place and is the reason why the first place I properly launched my own menu was a bar. Since then, I came up with this beast of a sandwich, I originally called it The Guacamiley and it was pretty popular. After that job I tried my hand at lots of other styles of cooking and restaurant environments but nothing satisfies me as much as churning out really good bar food so I’m back to doing that now at a pub in North London. The burger is back on the menu and just as popular as she was 3 years ago when I invented her.
With that being said, I also really love to cook for vegetarians. I think you have to be a pretty awful chef if you can't work out what to do with cheese and vegetables. Right?
Spasia is the head chef at The New Rose in North London. She started her sandwich career in Brooklyn New York and has since brought her knowledge back to London where she slangs sandwiches for tons of hungry people. You can find her latest and greatest creations by following her on instagram at @SpasiaPandora.
- For the Tomato Jam:
- 1kg Tomato (use your uglies for jamming, ugly tomatoes want to be jammed)
- 1/2 red onion
- 200g Caster sugar (or jam sugar)
- 5 tablespoons smoked paprika
- For the Avocado Crema:
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- 1 Handful of cilantro
- For the Fried Halloumi:
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1 wedge of Halloumi cheese
- 3 eggs
- panko breadcrumbs
- cup of soda water
- 4 cups of flour
- For the Sandwich:
- 2 tablespoon tomato jam
- 3 tablespoon avocado crema
- 1 giant chunk of fried halloumi
- 4 thin slices of cucumber
- 1 small handful of salad leaves
- 1 Burger bun (something enriched with milk is good, sweet and doughy)
FOR THE TOMATO JAM
Blitz the tomatoes in a food processor with the half red onion until it turns to mush then add to a hot pan, preferably something wide and shallow for making jam, add the sugar, paprika and a heavy pinch of salt and bring to the boil on a high heat.
Once boiling for a couple of minutes, turn down and cook on low until sticky icky - be careful to stir every now and again so it don’t get BURNT.
FOR THE AVOCADO CREMA
1. Blend the avocado flesh with the juice of the lime, 1/2 garlic clove, handful of coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
FOR THE FRIED HALLOUMI
To cook the halloumi, make the batter by whisking the whole eggs, gradually adding the flour until it becomes thick, then to lighten it add splashes of soda water so that the batter is thick enough to coat the cheese properly.
Dunk the cheese and then coat in panko breadcrumbs, use a fryer/hot oil in a pan to fry off the cheese until golden brown on all sides.
FOR THE SANDWICH
To Assemble, toast your buns then dollop the avocado crema on the bottom piece, a handful of salad leaves, the deep fried halloumi cheese next, then a big handful of really thin slices of cucumber (cut lengthways so they are super thin and crunchy, use a peeler!) then a dollop of the tomato jam and smoosh together.