Some nights I just don’t feel like eating a big meal (ummm … it’s more likely “I don’t feel like cooking a big meal”). Or friends are dropping by, or we want something quick and delicious to munch on while watching a flick. Really, I don’t need much of a reason to throw a charcuterie platter together … can you tell?
“Charcuterie” (shar-coo-tur-ee) is a french term that refers to the salting and curing of meat. So charcuterie platters typically consist of a variety of cured meats. Often these days you’ll find a combination of meats and cheeses together accompanied by various garnishes or breads depending on your preference. You can decide which format best suits your tastes.
How exactly do you put one of these together? Here’s a step by step guide:
- Start with a clean wooden board or slate platter
- Cut all of the meats and cheeses into bite sized pieces (with the exception of the brie or pate) so they are easily nibbled
- Arrange a variety of cheeses on the board
- Mix cheese types – for example: a soft brie, a strong blue and a harder parmesan
- Fill in spaces with a variety of meat and sausage
- Again mix the meat types – examples: a liver paté, spicy dried sausage and a honey ham
- Garnishes can include:
- dried fruit such as figs or apricots
- almonds or pecans
- olives, pickled beans or marinated vegetables
- dipping bowls of honey or spicy jellies can be placed on or adjacent to the plate
- Where necessary add cheese or paté knives
- Accompany with a basket of bread/crackers
- Pour the wine/port, sit back and enjoy in front of a roaring fire with friends
Now what wine to serve with a charcuterie platter? Port is especially delicious when paired with savory cheeses and salty meats. Check out our review of the Karlos Estates Van Alstine Port we picked up at the Wine & Food Show. It comes in both red and white and has been shared over one or two charcuterie platters in this house.
A votre santé…..Donna
Lisa says: “Mmmm this is making my mouth water. I too love a charcuterie platter and I often do a mini version of this to nibble on in the late afternoon or evening, with kalamata olives, parmesan and raw cashews. Delicious.”
Maureen says: “Charcuterie platters are a huge hit with my family and guests. I try to get artisan cheeses and meats whenever possible, but have also been known to serve dark chocolate and homemade biscotti on the platter as well.”