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Charcuterie Boards with Elinor!

Let’s talk board construction…

Some may think that conquering the charcuterie-world is a challenge, but I’m here to help break it down & work with you to create an edible form of art that everyone will be dying to get into…

Together we conquer!

Let’s break down the list of all you need to create a one-of-a-kind charcuterie board of your dreams



The assembly…

It’s time to use your imagination!  Place spreads into small serving bowls, such as fig jam and strawberry jam (pictured above). These make great additions to any board and are excellent options to add extra depth to your cheese and vehicle pairings. Once these spreads are placed, fill a few additional small serving bowls with different goodies, like dark chocolate and candied maple pecans. You can purchase these candied nuts or make them yourself if you have sugar, maple syrup, nuts, and a little time on your hands.


Next, arrange your cheeses. These are your charcuterie board celebrities, so make them shine! When arranging these, cut a few slices of the cheese blocks to “start” these cheeses. This simple step makes your guests feel welcomed and ready to consume your scrumptious board. When placing cheeses on your boards, make sure to add knives, especially if your cheeses are not precut. You don’t want guests gnawing on the blocks of cheese when they are desperately hungry & awaiting the rest of the evening’s festivities—I get it sometimes the wine hits ya and you’re on cheese-autopilot with a cheese-land destination. 


Make note the knives you choose to go with your cheeses. Do they make sense? Try a broader knife for cheeses like brie and goat cheese. Then, for harder cheeses like Swiss and Machengo a sharper, thinner knife will probably be your best bet.


As for the vehicle of your board, you should get a good assortment of crackers, bread, and pretzels. These are great for holding both cheeses and spreads. A bomb combination to try is the fig crackers with prosciutto, honey goat cheese and a slice of apple or a little fig jam. Or try a multi-seed cracker with cheddar, salami, and mustard.


For the fruit, get creative… use a mix of dried, fresh, tart, and sweet fruit with various textures. For the assembly, it looks excellent to add a ¼ pomegranate to the board adding in handful or so of seeds to your guests can easily eat the tasty morsels of pom-goodness. I cheated on my board by cutting a ¼ chunk of pomegranate, placing it on the board, and adding a handful of pomegranate seeds that I bought in seed form…hopefully, that doesn’t offend anyone! Sorry, you fresh-fruit-only people.


Grapes and apples are an easy, cost-effective, and delicious way to add to your board. Slice the apples, and/or pears, into thin slices and arrange around the cheeses, miscellaneous goodies, and vehicles. Think about the placement. Do raspberries and goat cheese go well together? Hell yes, they do!! I highly suggest placing them together.


For your carnivorous guests, meats are a must…sorry vegan people, this board is not for you!  Place your meats around the board to fill in empty spaces. I suggest strategic flavor placing if you can. For instance, put some salami or pepperoni next to cheese like cheddar or pepper jack. Yum! Another fun tip is to slice prosciutto sheets vertically into ¼ pieces and roll them up to look like little meat roses. In the picture above these “roses” are between the Hot Pepper Havarti and swiss cheese. For larger slices of meats, fold them into smaller, quarter size pieces and place on your serving platter. This makes them easier to handle, and provides the charcuterie with more room for more goodies!


Lastly, with remaining empty space on your board, fill with any miscellaneous goods like pepperoncini (personal fav), pistachios, and other pickled goodies. Then, Garnish with slices of strawberries, fresh herbs, or any other thing you want! And that is essentially how I construct my charcuterie board, but why stop there?? Let’s add in some baked brie, fresh burrata, and warmed olives. Keep reading for more!




But wait, there’s more!

Nothing beats a board of carbs, meats & cheeses, but why stop there? Let’s deep dive into some more cheese, carbs, and small dishes that will take your charcuterie to the next level.


Baked Brie

Ingredients:

1.     Brie Wheel

2.     Candied Pecans

3.     Pumpkin Butter

4.     Puff Pastry (1 sheet)

5.     Egg (for egg wash)

6.     Turbano sugar

**Serve with Water Crackers, Butter Crackers, or on it’s own (spoon it up baby!)

 

Process:

  • Allow puff pastry to thaw, preheat oven according to puff pastry instructions

  • Place puff pastry on a flat surface and unfold it to make a large rectangle

  • Take your brie wheel, slice a large “x” into the top of it, and place it in the middle of the puff pastry

  • Generously coat brie with pumpkin butter and then sprinkle the candied nuts on top for added depth and texture

  • Next, fold the puff pastry around the brie wheel until the cheese is completely encased

  • Take your egg, add a tablespoon of water and beat until it looks like a scrambled egg

  • Using a kitchen brush (fingers work too!), and coat the puff pastry in egg wash

  • Sprinkle with turbano sugar (Malden sea salt is also a delish choice for a saltier option… or do both because nobody’s stopping you…unless they are, then tell them to back off because YOU know what you are doing… at least I think we are right??)

  • Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown

  • HOLY MOLY GRAB THE CRACKERS because it is finally time to dig in!


Fresh Burrata

Ingredients:

1.     Fresh Burrata

2.     Fresh Basil

3.     EVOO

4.     Salt + Pepper

**Serve with fresh bread slices (lightly grilled or toasted bread is great!)

 

Process:

  1. Take a large handful of your fresh basil and slice into thin ribbons

  2. Toss basil ribbons with olive oil, salt, and pepper

  3. Place the basil mixture in a serving dish, I suggest a dish with higher edges so the burrata does not spill over when serving (that shizz gets messy!)

  4. Carefully place the burrata cheese on top of the basil mixture

  5. Drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or forgo the pepper for a cleaner looking finish, I personally just like the additional pop of flavor)

  6. Serve with fresh, warm bread slices or lightly coat will olive oil and grill for more flavor depth


Warmed Olives

Ingredients:

1.     Kalamata Olives (4-6oz)

2.     Castelventrano Olives (4-6oz)

3.     Olive Oil (~1/2 cup)

4.     Salt + Pepper

5.     Garlic Cloves (3-4) or minced garlic (1 T)

6.     Red Pepper Flakes

**Serve with fresh, warm bread slices or lightly coat will olive oil and grill for more flavor


Process:

  1. Slice up a few cloves of garlic (or add a tablespoon of minced garlic) and place in a small serving dish (oven and microwave safe), honestly chop the garlic however you feel, its more for flavor and for garlic enthusiasts, like me, to take a nice lil’ bite of

  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes into the dish

  3. Pour in a mixture of Castelventrano and Kalamata olives into the dish

  4. Pour olive oil into the dish until at least half of the olives are covered (may need more/less oil depending on the size of your serving dish… I used a small Le Creuset round baking dish)

  5. Stir the mixture up to evenly distribute and cover your ingredients throughout the olive oil

  6. Place in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes OR microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until olives are hot and the olive oil is slightly bubbling.

  7. Serve immediately with a small fork or spoon. I also suggest serving with bread to soak up your salty olive oil mixture, yum!


Warning: this stuff will not last long!


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