Readers may recall that I recently did a post on doggie charcuterie boards for pets parties. But why should canines have all the fun? After seeing my neighbor’s handsome Christmas cheese board, and Austin’s and Cyndy’s lovely creations, I was inspired to serve a few appetizer trays at the farm.
Get on Board! The Charcuterie Board, That Is
The Five Ingredient Platter
Choose items from these five categories when designing your charcuterie/cheese board:
1. Cheeses: I started with the cheese and cracker selection. Cheese board affectionados suggest an aged Cheddar, Mancheco, Compte, or Gruyere. For a softer cheese, try a Brie, goat, or Camembert. Go rogue, with a wedge of three-milk-Spanish cheese (cow, sheep and goat) such as Los Cameros.
I lean toward the softer fromage that spreads nicely. One such would be a Burrata with a creamy interior, that opens gently when cut. I also served a semi-soft, Delice de Bourgogne from France and a Missouri cheese called Flory’s Truckle. One of my favorites is the Long Clawson Mango-Ginger Stilton I get at Whole Foods. But use whatever suits your palate and your pocketbook.
2. Meats: If the word charcuterie sounds a bit gourmet-ish to you, it’s worth knowing that it has humble beginnings. The term charcuterie is an old one used to describe a butchery that mostly sold pork. So I got some shaved prosciutto and a small roll of Soppressata, a dry salami.
3. Bread/Crackers: There are nearly as many varieties, shapes and sizes of crackers and breads as there are cheeses. Don’t make the crackers too complicated or they will mask the meat and cheese. A mundane, stone-ground wheat works well.
4. Fruit/Vegetables: Bobby and Peggy, the family gardeners, brought pickled carrots, cukes, and asparagus for added texture and taste. Berries and melon chunks added tidbits of color. I made a special trip to the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market for one of their Orange Honey Melons, that are only available about this time of year.
5. Condiments: Olives, jams, hummus, spreads, nuts. I chose a fig jam.
A Whimsical Look
Weekend Charcuterie Board
A Culinary Adventure
Several guests—with varying opinions—joined in composing the two platters shown above. I considered fashioning the prosciutto into a likeness of the Eiffel Tower, but thought better of it.
I really enjoy incorporating guests into the meal prep and this was a perfect opportunity.