Monday, August 1, 2016

Charcuterie Boards


Normally every year for my daughter's birthday, Jo and I decorate a really fun cake for her. This year was super crazy because our nephew got married the same weekend of Kenzie's birthday. So instead of a cake Kenzie okay'ed our idea of waiting a few weeks after the wedding and doing a charcuterie board type party. 
We went a little nuts.
It's really, really fun to create charcuterie boards. They're just sooooo pretty.
In case you are unfamiliar - charcuterie boards are made of different meats, cheeses, nuts, and fruit. 
Along with the meat and cheese we also put out some pickles, etc...


Spicy pickled beans....


Olives...


And... of course... a couple of pitchers of sangria. Red and white... just to cover all the bases.


We also went with a spinach dip. Because... well... it's spinach dip. It's delicious. Why wouldn't you have spinach dip? Get our recipe HERE !


We served it with pretzel chips, whole grain baguette slices, and cranberry baguette slices. 


We added a bowl of fruit for some color. Also... cheese and meat pair wonderfully with fruit. 


When serving meat and cheese you want to make sure you have plenty of crackers and crusty type artisan breads on hand. Our locally bakery in Lillooet (Abundance Bakery) had some lovely rye, whole wheat, and whole grain choices. 


One of the fun things about creating charcuterie boards is getting to use all of the wooden platters/cutting boards you have. Something about that wood grain makes the meat and cheese look fancier.
I had this cool shot glass board in my cupboard that was just begging to be filled with treats.


We used dried strawberries, salted peanuts, fresh strawberries, granola chocolate clusters, spicy cashews, and fresh blueberries. 


The brie got its own platter because we had to heat it first and it got all melty. 
We topped it with a cranberry and balsamic reduction. Jo was skeptical but ended up loving the flavor and texture combo.
Now.. on to the charcuterie boards...


This was our tiniest board. It would have been perfect for an intimate snack for two. 


All those textures and colors are a feast for the eyes, am I right?


Sue did a BBQ sausage board with a little extra BBQ sauce for dipping. 


Grapes, figs, pickles, cheese, and crackers round out the collection.


You can use any number of meats and cheeses to make up a board. We left some of the cheese wedges whole to change the look of some of the boards. The Beemster Dutch cheese was very pungent and breaking off a little sample was the best way to try it. 


I added some of my homemade Rhubarb Relish (Recipe HERE)  as an accouterment to this board.  


Don't be afraid to mix colors, flavors, textures to create your pallet.


Our biggest board was quite large so we left some of our meat un-sliced to take up a bit of space. Plus... it also looks cool. Just sayin'


Even the close ups are purdy.

Here is a list of some of the things we used on the above boards:
Meats:
salami
keilbasa
prosciutto
turkey sausage

Cheese:
Swiss
Dutch (Beemster)
Jarlsberg
cheddar - smoked, aged, and garlic & herb
bocconcini
Boursin garlic and fine herb
Laughing Cow

Nuts:
cashews - salted, plain, and spicy
peanuts
Brazil nuts
almonds
honeyed walnuts

Fruit:
figs
grapes - green, purple
blueberries
blackberries
apricots
apples
strawberries

Misc:
Granola dark chocolate clusters
Rhubarb relish
BBQ sauce
pickles
olives
pickled green beans


Have fun using your favorite meats and cheeses to create your charcuterie board. You can make it as expensive or as cheap as you like. 
We went all out for Kenzie and she loved it. 
Jo and I had a lot of fun coming up with different boards. Once you get started it's hard to stop. It feels like you are creating these edible works of art. Definitely an impressive way to serve meats and cheeses for your next get together. 


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