Of all the cheeses that exist in the world, haloumi is the most proud – and the most stubborn. Unlike its gooey, easygoing counterparts, it refuses to be smeared across dry crackers, or melted in fast food sandwiches. It retains its perfect rectangular form in stubborn rigidity, sitting proudly in the farthest corner of the cold foods section, waiting to be selected only by those who can appreciate a fine cheese. It scoffs at the absence of self-control displayed by camembert, which collapses into its molten center immediately upon slicing. It turns up its nose at the hideous smell emanated by its blue cheese brothers, attributing their strong scent to their attention-seeking tendencies. It frowns upon the weakness of yellow cheeses which crumble upon slicing. Haloumi will retain its form in all circumstances, and it demands to be fried at high temperatures and served crisp and firm. If you obey its wishes, you will experience a chewy, salty taste sensation like no other, and you will understand the reason for its arrogance. I like to throw fried haloumi into a leafy green salad with baby spinach, roasted almonds, strawberries and a vinaigrette made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, strawberry jam and lemon juice. The sourness of the lemon, the sweetness of the balsamic and the innocuous crunch of the almonds provides a wonderful complement to the chewy, salty goodness of haloumi.
Oh also – carrot cake. I found this awesome recipe here and although I screwed up the icing on the first go, the cake turned out wonderfully!
I hope you’re all enjoying your first forays into the new year. I myself am indulging in unrealistic New Year’s resolutions involving more ambitious cakes, more creative savoury meals and monkey bread. Also cookies with greater emotional depth. My 2014 cookies were a little too two-dimensional for my liking.
Until next time!