Fried Anchovies and Grilled Halloumi is a perfect appetizer
These foods are very common and traditional across the Mediterranean. Both hold up very well making them perfect for a party or picnic. They are also very simple and quick to make up.
Do not be intimidated by anchovies
The small, oily fish has an unfortunate reputation. But they are actually very delicious, especially prepared like this, marinated and then quickly fried. Anchovies contain some of the highest concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids of all fish and seafood. Anchovies are also a serious source of protein, iron, Vitamin D, and also calcium when the bones are consumed.
The versatility of halloumi
Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. High-quality halloumi from grass-fed and pastured animals is an incredible source of Vitamin A and other nutrients.
Halloumi traces its origins to the island of Cyprus and the area known as the Levant where it has been made for centuries.
It is unique in that it has a very high melting point which makes it an ideal cheese for frying or grilling like we will be doing here.
Marinate the anchovies in advance
Two hours will suffice, but overnight is best. Feel free to play around with herbs and spices and use what you have on hand. Some ideas: parsley, cilantro, garlic, red pepper, sumac, lovage, pomegranate molasses, etc.
Make it Grain Free
I use coarse heritage corn meal here but you can easily skip that step and fry the anchovies as-is. This will make them more prone to sticking and falling apart so ensure your oil is heated thoroughly before adding the anchovies. You can also try substituting with crushed pork rinds or cassava flour.
Serve with lemon wedges, olives, and maybe a garlicky yogurt or roasted red pepper dip. Add high-quality prosciutto and other Mediterranean staples as part of a platter.
Have you tried fried anchovies or grilled halloumi?
Let me know what you think in the comments.Print
Marinated Fried Anchovies With Grilled Halloumi
Fried anchovies and grilled halloumi makes a quick and delicious side dish or appetizer. A great party option as they hold up very well.
- 1 pound anchovies, gutted
- 1 wheel or brick of halloumi cheese
For the Anchovy Marinade:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, approximately
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley, diced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Enough cornmeal for dredging
- Lemon wedges
- A few pinches of flat-leaf parsley
- Drizzle of olive oil for the halloumi
- If necessary, gut the anchovies.
- Combine the olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and flat-leaf parsley.
- Coat the anchovies in the marinade, add a pinch of sea salt and crack of fresh black pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- After the anchovies are marinated and you are ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high.
- Add the halloumi wheel (or skewered slices) directly onto the grill and grill each side for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat enough olive oil for frying the anchovies. In a plate add your cornmeal and set aside.
- Take your anchovies and dredge them in the cornmeal before dropping them into the hot oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the anchovies for 1-2 minutes until golden and transfer to a paper towel. Repeat in as many batches as required.
- Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.
You can substitute cilantro for the flat-leaf parsley.
This meal tastes wonderful hot and at room temperature.