Charcuterie, Charcuterie, Charcuterie!
It’s been almost two years since we moved from The Woodlands to Round Top, Texas population 90. Not sure if that 90 includes us or not but we are here and enjoying all the activity that goes on in the area.
So, it was about time for a girl’s trip to happen and Waco was a good place to meet up for a weekend of fun and laughs with old friends from The Woodlands. I though, after watching numerous You Tube videos on making charcuterie boards and seeing them on Instagram all the time that we needed to make one together; and our first night there would be a good way to relax. I gave everyone some links to watch on the making of charcuterie boards and then a list of things we all needed to bring and the rest is history. Of course, cocktails were involved — White Lady, French 75 and Chocolate Martinis along with some Fuzzy Navels and Pina Coladas.
Charcuterie (shar-KOO-ta-REE is a term that dates back as far as the 15th century and means products of a fancy pork butcher). A charcuterie basically refers to various meat products. In France you would probably have more meats, terrines, pates, gallotines, etc. A cheese board refers to a selection of cheeses etc. These days anything can be put on a charcuterie with meats, cheeses, sweets, jams, nuts, fruits all artfully arranged on a board to make a beautiful presentation for your guest.
My husband bought me this beautiful 18×20 walnut/resin (blue river running through it) from Woodlab.com and I couldn’t wait to use it. Maybe in the future I will use it for simpler things that are a lot less expensive than filling this board with meats, cheeses, nuts, jams/preserves, candy, breads/crackers, honeys and even some pate son Paul made for me. Hors d’Oeuvres have always been one of my favorite items to prepare especially for dinner guest.
Charcuterie board — No need for utensils, everything is eaten with your fingers. You will need some small spoons, forks etc. to pick up the things off the board. We skewered some small mozzarella balls and tomatoes, made chains and roses, ribbons, and rosettes of meats.
If you are wanting to try making a charcuterie board things can be laid out on a cutting board, any kind of large (or small platter) or even a large piece of butcher paper spread on your counter top. We prepared/folded, curled, “rosed” all our meats first and put them off to the side. We organized all the cheese and “extras” together so when we were ready to prepare the board we knew what we had to work with.
You want to place your cheeses first (3-5) then place your meats and then start filling in around those items to make your beautiful, delicious, “can’t wait to dive into” board.
If you decorate your boards with flowers, make sure they are edible (nothing goes on a plate that isn’t edible). I use pansies and violas and herbs from my garden because I know they have not been sprayed with any chemicals.
You don’t have to use fancy cheeses but it’s nice having a couple your guests have not tried before. Most sources say 2-3 ounces of meat per person. We used ours as our dinner, not just an appetizer. We had 5 kinds of cheeses and I think 4-5 types of meat.
A whole grain mustard and dijon was added to the board along with a Drunk Cherry preserves, some Tipsy Peach preserves, fig preserves and Mike’s Hot Honey and some regular honey. You can add some pates or rillettes. Add some dried fruits, fresh fruits, seeds/nuts, some sweets, and/or cookies. Of course you will want several types of crackers and/or bread. Little cornichon pickles are great with the cheeses and pates.
Some of the meats we used were prosciutto, capicola, peppered salami, mortadella with pistachios, sopressata,
Our cheeses were Maytag blue, smoked gouda, mozzarella balls, a Vermont Creamery double cream Cremont cheese and one of VC’s goat cheese, coated with pepper jelly.
We used pistachios, rosemary cashews, orange pecans and I made some herbs de provence Marcona almonds.
So, you can see you can put just about anything on this board. Have fun making it and I would love to see pictures if anyone puts one together.
Note: Grandson, Donovan, wants to make one with me so that’s my next project to do one that kids would like. He told me the other day he made a “charcuterie sandwich”. He said he took some bread and put some salami on it and then some cheese and then (perfectly pronounced with Italian ascent) put some “prosciutto” on it.
We assembled our kebabs, organized our cheeses and jams/mustards, and nuts so when we started placing things on the board we knew what we had to work with.
We placed our five cheese on the board first, then we started placing the meats and the rest is history. See the little mouse, he’s so cute sitting on that round of Vermont Creamery cheese.
We filled every little nook and cranny. I love dried fruits on a board because they don’t get the cheeses and other things wet. The little green chicken dish is full of my son’s chicken liver pate. And those are little tear drop red peppers.
Put the olives in some type of container. The honey with the brass “bee” is Mike’s Hot Honey and is very good with cheeses and meats.
I used my beautiful little board from Tré for the Gathering (here in Round Top) for some of our breads/crackers/cookies. Can’t wait to use this board for a small cheese offering. The little almond cookies were from The Little Cheese Shop in Round Top.
I used some of my rosemary and sage flower along with some pansies and viola out of my yard to fill in around items. Little wrapped VSOP chocolate barrels were great with a glass of sparkling.
I bought these cute little charcuterie plates at Signor Vineyards in Fredericksburg made by Michael Obranovich.
We could have invited another 15 for this spread but we enjoyed leftovers the next day. See my cute little mouse on the round of cheese — that also came from Tré.
No recipe here, just use all your favorite things to make your board. Enjoy and have fun with some friends and don’t forget the champagne.