With school out and work finishing up for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to have a fun filled party! Meat & cheese boards are awesome for small or larger gatherings, even on a tight budget. Here are a few of my tips on putting together a fabulous board.
- How many people are attending your party? Whether you are making or buying dishes make sure you have an idea of how many people are going to be there. You don’t want to have less food than you need; at least with having more food, people can always bring some home if they want to
- Picking cheese. There are so many different options for the types of cheeses you can have on your board. Some blue cheese, Brie, Gouda, Camembert, cheddar, are just a few options for you to choose from. But before you do, make sure that you get a chance to actually taste the cheese before buying it. For example, I am not a big fan of strong blue cheese (or most blue cheeses to be honest) so I won’t put a big chunk of it on the plate. Of course, if you know that some of your guests love a particular kind of cheese or have previously recommended a cheese, why not give it a try? An alternative to my personal favourite, Fromager d’Affinois, is President’s Choice Double Cream Brie. They taste very similar but not quite, and the P.C. option is on sale right now!
- Bread or crackers? You can have one or both options. Though some cheeses do taste better with a nicely toasted piece of baguette. For example, I find that Brie tastes beautifully with a toasted bread and a little freshly ground black pepper. Simple and tasty! On a different note, there are many kinds of crackers you can use instead of the bread. I like using Triscuit’s olive oil, rosemary and black pepper flavoured crackers. The herbs and the salt from the crackers taste well with Gouda, some aged white cheddar or even with goat cheese and a dollop of pesto
- Serving plate/board. I present my cheese platters usually on a clean solid [wood/bamboo] cutting board. It makes it feel a little rustic and approachable to me. You can use other serving plates, though make sure that it is a flat plate and that it is big enough for the amount of food you’re putting on it
- Finishing touches. Slices of fruits, some grapes (still on their branches), fresh herbs, pitted olives, jam and so on. You can use all or some of them depending on how much cheese you want to use and bread. Remember, the star of the boards are the cheeses, the other food items should help elevate the flavours not up stage it. To add a little holiday twist, try using some cranberry jelly. It adds a nice tartness, sweetness and a pop of colour on the board!
Now all you need is a bottle of red or white wine or some hot apple cider. Enjoy!
Which kinds of cheeses are you having for your holiday dinner party? Leave a comment below for questions and suggestions! 🙂