When it comes to entertaining, a charcuterie board is often the best choice for easy, crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvres. Simple and easily put together, cured meats and cheese plates offer a variety to match anyones palette. Here's how to make a crowd pleasing boar and what meats to pick.
A great charcuterie board starts with presentation.
Naturally, we are all drawn to beautiful things. Serve ware plays a tremendous role in your presentation game. A few must-haves are a long wooden board, a cheese board, knives, a few serving trays and mini bowls or dishes. The rustic but modern look of these products will draw out the vibrant colors of each food item.
Pick a variety of meats
Building an amazing board requires a variety of cured meats. Everyone has their favorites. My go-to cured meats are salamis, prosciuttos, porchettas, sausages and chorizos. Asking your local butcher for suggestions will help. Pick a variety!
Prosciutto is hands down the most familiar cured meat. This Italian salty dried ham is always a safe bet. And if you love prosciutto, then you'll have to try its Spanish cousin, Serrano ham. It has a similar flavor profile and texture as prosciutto that will practically melt in your mouth.
Pate's and/or Pork liver mousse gives a smooth, softer texture to your meat spread. It's pairs well with an accompaniment of stone ground mustard.
Don't forget the cheese!
ust like the meats, offering a variety of different types in texture and taste will compliment your board. Pick 3-6 different cheeses: Fresh cheese – burrata Soft cheese – camembert and brie Semi-soft cheese – herbed gouda Firm cheese – applewood smoked cheddar Hard cheese – parmigiano reggiano Veined cheese – gorgonzola
Nuts, pickles and spreads.
Pickled vegetables go hand-in-hand with meats and cheeses especially small Gherkins and olives. You can also add in sweet and savory spreads such as whole grain mustard, fig jam, as well as, nuts like almonds, cashews, and pecans.
Breads and crackers
Add sliced baguette or something crunchy like crostini, rye crisps, plain crackers or breadsticks. Also include a gluten-free option, too.