Making the perfect charcuterie board is much easier than you might think because it literally requires zero cooking skills. So, if you aren’t exactly a master chef in the kitchen and you consider making boxed mac and cheese an accomplishment, this is the ideal dish to prepare for your next holiday party! You can make these dishes as small or as large as you’d like, and you can get really creative with the presentation too!
This is obviously not a foolproof recipe, but a guide to getting you started with your masterpiece. I’ve laid out some steps and tips below!
A long-time friend of mine has created some beautiful, mouth-watering charcuterie boards so naturally, I just had to get her input. She says that when choosing your ingredients to keep these things mind:
You can use an old cutting board, a large serving platter, or even a large round drink tray to create your delicious work of art. Start by placing ramekins, or small bowls, around your board. Those will be used for your nuts, olives, fruits, dips, etc. Space them out nicely and evenly on your board. As you do this, you’ll be making almost a blue-print of where all of your other food items will go. The goal is to fill in your entire board!
Place your cheeses around your board. Use large wedges of cheese or blocks. Some cheeses might be cubed, and you can place a toothpick in them for easy and neat access. Fan out any sliced cheeses you have to take up space on your board. Again, try to space your items out evenly. This is how you create that nice, full aesthetic. The cheese, like your bowls, will act as an anchor that you’ll place everything else around.
Charcuterie is actually the French term that is used for cold cooked meats. Some people say to go with the same number of meats as you did for your cheeses. So, if you have three different kinds of cheese, you would also have three different types of meat to accompany each cheese. Just like with your cheese, your meats will continue to fill in the board by being placed around your bowls and cheeses. Fan out any slices of meats in order to take up more space!
You’re going to need a vehicle for your meats and cheeses. Add your crackers, while being mindful of your spacing. Fresh sliced bread or pita bread might also be a nice addition to your collection. Some people get really into this project and make home-made crackers. I, on the other hand, go for store-bought. A great cracker that pairs well with everything is Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers.
You can place your fruits and veggies in a small bowl, like your dips, or you can place them directly onto your board. My friend will literally slice a pomegranate in half and place them ever so carefully on her board (as shown in the image below).
Finish up by filling in any empty spaces with nuts or dried fruit!
Below is a list of some other accompaniments that you might play around with when putting your board together. Notice that with any charcuterie board that you make, there will be a variety of tastes (sweet, salty, and savory) as well as a variety of textures. Also, keep in mind the season that you’re making your board in!
The awesome thing about charcuterie boards is that the possibilities are endless. You can create boards around different cultures or themes, like the hot chocolate charcuterie board (as shown below). Charcuterie boards may also be a fun way to use up any food that you’ve been meaning to eat up. Amp up your board a bit more by pairing it with some wine (if you’re of age of course)! Bon appetit!
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