Saturday, December 28, 2019

How to build your own charcuterie board

Nothing says festive holiday gathering like a table full of meats and cheeses. I have always been a snacker so the fact that this meal is built on snacks is a game-changer for me - now I have an excuse to stand by the food table all night...

When it comes to assembling your own charcuterie boards, I tend to place the "bases" near the center aka your breads, crackers, pretzels, etc. Since people will use these the most to pair with other things, you'll want them to be easily accessible. Here are my staples:

  • a sweet cracker such as these Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps Fig and Olive thins
  • Trader Joe's Parmesan crisps
  • a fresh baguette, sliced (I usually brush half of these slices with garlic butter and toast them right before serving and leave the other half untoasted). 
  • Ak-Mak Sesame Crackers

Then I build out from there, starting with your meats and cheeses and keeping flavor-compatible items closer together  (like this cranberry cheese and fig crackers omggg so good) here are some other examples:
  • smoked salmon + capers + cream cheese + pickled onions
  • sharp white cheddar + sliced pear + drizzle of honey
  • prosciutto + mozzarella 
From there, I fill in with the "snack" items like your olives, veggies, nuts, and sliced fruits - here are some of my faves:
  • Castelvetrano olives
  • almond stuffed green olives
  • raw almonds
  • sliced apples and pears
  • dried apricots 
  • fresh herbs (mainly for decor) 

If you're hosting a large group, feel free to suggest that guests can bring an item to contribute. Use parchment or wax paper to cover your table and write labels next to each item. Include utensils, napkins, and small plates (duh) along with tools for people to cut and serve themselves, I ordered this pack from Amazon.  Include a bottle of red and white wine and you got yourself a classy affair - raise your pinky high!

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