7wonders: Cheese Plate of Halicarnassus

cheese plate of halicarnassus


To represent the various aspects of being cremated, partially consumed in wine, and partially kept in a huge building in modern day Turkey, I served a selection of cheeses, one ash-rinded, sesame seed crackers, honeycomb, and pistachio butter rugalech, with marshmallow ashes (flamed table-side) in pomegranate juice shooters. The only part that needs a “recipe” is the rugalech:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz or one regular bar of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TB milk
  • 3 TB coarse sugar
  • 1/2 cup pistachio butter (or puree your own)

Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and cream cheese with your hands, kneading until it comes together, then chill until firm, 8 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Take about 1/4 the dough and roll it out, using plenty of flour on the surface. Spread pistachio butter over the top, then roll it up as tightly as possible. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Place each roll, seam side down, on lined baking pan, then pinch ends closed and tuck underneath. Arrange logs 1 inch apart in pan. With a sharp large knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts crosswise in dough (not all the way through) at 1-inch intervals. (If dough is too soft to cut, chill until firmer, 20 to 30 minutes.)

Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before slicing on a board.  Makes about 80 cookies.



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