Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp Or Pass the Fried Cheese, Please!

Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp, with lots of garlic and lemon, makes one great dinner where everyone asks for more!

skillet, shrimp, lemon, rice

It has been a long time since I visited Chicago. I miss it. Not only do I miss the wide open spaces-well, there used to be-on the drive from O’Hare to Kankakee, but I miss Chicago itself. I love the Windy City and finally I will be visiting again, but it won’t be until January. Not exactly the best time of year to experience Chicago, but family obligations wait for no one! I believe we’ll go back in April for another. As my brother pointed out, this is a big year for our family. 4 B’nai Mitzvahs, 1 new baby and 1 wedding. None of this directly in my nuclear space-thank goodness, as I’m still not ready for the last two!

One of my favorite experiences in Chicago is dining at the Greek Islands. As a teenager,we often stopped there to eat. Because it is on the South Side of Chicago, it was convenient from Kankakee. Not only was the food delicious; eating at a big Greek restaurant is fun. The OPAS, the saganki, the family style HUGE meals and the great waiters, make the place very lively. Everything is superb. I also loved their skordalia-the Greek garlic dip. OMG. Just slather that on my body when I die, and I’m sure I’d be preserved forever.

One of my favorite things to eat at Greek Islands was the saganaki. Fried cheese. Two words that shouldn’t be allowed to be close together. Having saganaki is one item on my “Last meal to eat before I die” list. We all have those don’t we? Well, it probably should be one requirement on the list, “How to be a Foodie”. In any case, I love the stuff. And it is pretty pathetic that I can’t remember the last time I had it. I believe someplace in Denver has it, but I’m sure it isn’t as good as the Greek Islands. I, however, would be happy to be a guinea pig and give my honest opinion!


Well, onward. Trader Joe’s opened close by, so I discovered they sold halloumi cheese at about half the price of my favorite grocer. Same brand and everything. Yes, it totally now makes preparing halloumi, so much more enjoyable. I hated spending $10 just to make fried cheese. Thank you Trader Joe’s. But eating fried cheese just seems so decadent… So bad for you, even if it is topped with heart healthy olive oil. So… I decided to make it as a main course in order to count those calories in a better space.  So.. I made it with shrimp, the cholesterol free kind. Don’t I wish? And I served it with white rice-the whole grain kind. Don’t I wish?

What can I say? Manservant loved this recipe. I did too. Tomorrow we are eating greens and whole grains the entire day. I promise…


Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp

Yield: 1 Manservant, 1 Wife (Preferably 4 servings)
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
5 minced garlic cloves
1/2 c white wine
1 t oregano
Pinch of Italian chili flakes
16 – #21-25 large  raw shrimp peeled
4 oz halloumi – cut into about 1″ cubes
1 lemon, cut into quarters

1 c dry rice – prepared in your favorite way

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until softened, and not golden. Add white wine, oregano, and chili flakes and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and when they are just starting to turn pink, add halloumi. Let simmer a couple minutes, but don’t overcook the shrimp, and serve with a squeeze of lemon. Spoon rice or pasta into pan and mix it all up. Serve and yell OPA!

More Good Things to Try:
Mussels in White Wine
Chicken Scarpariello
Carne Asada
Blueberry Chicken Pesto Salad
Blackbottom Chocolate Cake


skillet, shrimp, rice, lemon, cheese


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  • Amy (Savory Moments)
    July 23, 2014 at 10:37 am

    This is one cheese I've never had, but have been seeing it pop up in a lot of recipes. I think this dish looks really delicious!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      There is a reason it is popping up! It is fun to cook with. It is great use as a main course and the price made it feel like that was the way to go. But now that I've found it at TJ's, it makes it much more affordable to use however I want!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    July 22, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I love, love Chicago, too! Had the most wonderfully, epically fantastic meal of my life there (Charlie Trotter's!) … and plenty of little vacays with just my Romeo, with each of my parents, with a whole herd of extended family … you get the idea! I loooove it! But somehow I missed the Greek Islands – clearly that's a must-do! Luckily, until then, I have this gorgeous recipe to hold me over. It's got YUM written all over it (in both English AND Greek! 😀 )! Pinning for sure! Opa, my friend! 😀

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Great city, isn't it? Greek Islands is fun to go to with a large group and they know how to do it well! Thanks, Shelley! charlie Trotter's-you lucky girl. My mom once won some auction and she got to work with his pastry chef in the restaurant kitchen. She was so excited!

  • Biz
    July 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Oh my – I don't know if I should have known that halloumi is available at TJ's! The price always stopped me in my tracks, and I've had a recipe for GRILLED halloumi on my list of things to make for a long time.

    That looks delicious! It's all about balance right? And it's balanced to have cheese at least one a day for me. 😀

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Yes, I do like your sense of balance! Grilled halloumi is great, too!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    July 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hello Abbe! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog recently. I see we share a few readers in common 🙂 We love Colorado (our youngest went to CU in the early 2000's) and are big fans of the Windy City just 90 miles to our south. Usually, we never make it south of downtown but the Greek restaurant sounds wonderful and so much fun. What a great recipe you've put together here! Susan.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Sounds like we have some things in common, Susan! GreekTown is a fun place in Chicago and really reasonable for a great meal! It probably is about a 15 minute drive from downtown, if I remember correctly. It has been awhile! thanks for reading!

  • Kari Lindsay
    July 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    TJs is opening near me in September, I can hardly wait!
    What a great combo, salty, squeeky cheese with sweet shrimp, yuuum!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Kari! It has taken me awhile to get used to TJ's, but now I am hooked on it for many things!

  • Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Well Abbe – you do have a busy year ahead! This dish sounds great even if it is a splurge of the best kind! Never tried cheese like this – but am now on a mission. This is the second recipe I've seen today with that very cheese. The other was with a watermelon salad – how interesting. Have a wonderful week!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      I saw that watermelon salad. It looked great! Try this cheese, Tricia. You will love it!

  • Angie Schneider
    July 22, 2014 at 11:25 am

    o I want to dig in! It looks so GOOD.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks, Angie. If you were closer, I'd say stop over!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    July 22, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Hi Abbe, next time we go to the big city I will be picking up this cheese, I saw it last time I was at Trader Joes but I was not sure about it, this recipe has changed my mind, love this!!!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Cheri, it really doesn't have much flavor or texture on its own. Therefore it is begging to be fried! And it doesn't melt so easily, which is why is is perfect fried!

  • Juliana
    July 22, 2014 at 3:45 am

    I too love s hopping at Trader Joe's…this is such a nice and easy dish Abbe..next time I will pick a package of halloumi and try your recipe…yum!
    Have a beautiful week 😀

  • Carolyn Jung
    July 22, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Fried cheese is never anything to pass up! LOL
    Love how easy this dish is, but so full of big, bold flavors.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn! Fried cheese is the best, isn't it?

  • Liz Berg
    July 22, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Sign of a good recipe…when there are NO leftovers! I really, really want to try halloumi. How could fried cheese be bad? Looking so forward to meeting you in a week!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 22, 2014 at 3:03 am

      Well than you really, really should! And I am so excited to get together! OPA!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    July 22, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Fun post, fun recipe. Trader Joe's is great, isn't it? They usually have good quality at good prices. Back in the day I used to travel to Chicago at least twice a year, and it seemed I was always there in January or February. Brrrr! That's a cold place, but you'll enjoy getting back there. Anyway, OPA!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 22, 2014 at 3:02 am

      Thanks, John! Chicago is a great city and though it will be cold, i can't wait! Definitely going to hit Greektown!

  • yummychunklet
    July 22, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Love fried cheese! Yum!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 22, 2014 at 3:01 am

      I love fried cheese, too! Thanks, Yummy!