Good morning! What a beautiful November weekend. Oh my goodness, this year is flying by and the holiday are edging closer and closer. I am starting to get a little anxious because typically by this time I have begun shopping and wrapping, as of yet I’ve done nothing.
Frankly my mind is now on food and not shopping. I am already thinking about Thanksgiving and holiday parties and entertaining. One of my favorite things to serve friends coming over as well as at parties is a charcuterie platter. What could be easier for last minute entertaining than a platter of cured meats, nuts, fruits, and cheese?
I made this platter recently and my guests loved it. It is substantial enough for a light dinner but also as a great hors d’oeuvres before going out.
A charcuterie board is basically a meat version of the cheese board, and it cannot get any easier because you can get most everything at the grocery store. I typically head to Trader Joe’s or my local market and pick out a selection of cured meats including, but not limited to salami, prosciutto, bresola, coppa, and to change it up a little pate, etc. (FYI: Plan to serve 2-3 ounces of meat per person.)
Also make sure to serve something pickled, like mini gherkins, pickled onions, okra, etc. In addition, you can serve a selection of dried or fresh fruits and nuts, like almonds, walnuts, apricots, grapes, cranberries and more.
I also like to serve small bowls of mustard’s, Dijon, whole grain, and spicy to name a few.
Last but not least, serve a selection of interesting crackers, fresh bread or even bread sticks.
You can plate all of these tasty morsels on a cutting board or a big platter or if is not big enough serve the meats on a platter and then put the other stuff in small bowls.
As I was writing this post on charcuterie I thought you might be interested in a book I received recently from Blogging for Books it’s called The River Cottage Smoking & Curing Handbook. While I wish I could say that I smoked or cured a few of the meats on my board that is not the case. I believe after reading this book by Stephen Lamb that I could in the future.
The River Cottage Smoking & Curing Handbook is a small but excellent hardback resource for anyone that would like to try to smoke, cure, or brine. The book is much more than a cookbook; it begins with the traditions and the science of curing and brineing, then moves into the science, the equipment and ingredients and methods behind it. The second half of the book is filled with 50 recipes for everything from bacon, salami, pastrami, cheese and more.
If you are interested in curing and smoking this book is for you!
Are you a fan of cheese plates, charcuterie platters and antipasti? Do you have a favorite cheese or meat or perhaps way to serve it? We would love to hear about it!
Have a great week!