- I have a lot of dreams in life. One is that one day I make a cheese board for Kathie Lee and Hoda for them to enjoy on ‘Winesday Wednesday’. Another dream is that I marry a cheesemonger. But for today, I’m an amateur cheese board builder and someone who judges a wine bar based on their cheese board presentation.
Before I dive into a little tutorial on how to make one of these bad boys, let me disclose that I am not a professional. I couldn’t even tell you if cheese board is the correct title? I mean it could be a charcuterie board? Or somewhere in between? A Cheecuterie? Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about cheese, hence me wanting to marry a cheesemonger (hopefully he’ll fill me in on the correct title of my board). But all of my friends keep coming back over when I build one, and honestly it’s the easiest way to entertain in my opinion. It’s good for a wine night, a girls night, a Jersey Shore watch party night, just any night really. So let’s build one together, shall we?
- First, you start with the board, I have a few different boards that I have acquired over the years, most that I’ve purchased from Home Goods, World Market, and my fave, Target. But my FAVORITE board is a slate board mainly because it’s the largest and I can just pile everything on it. It was a gift and I don’t know where it came from, but here is a similar one from William Sonoma.
- Next you want to add on the cheeses. I typically like to pick 3-4 types of cheese (but you can of course add 1 or 2 if you are keeping it small). I place these on the board spaced out enough so that there is room to add in the other goodness. Depending on what types of cheeses I get I’ll cut some in wedges, or sticks, or just place them how they come out of the wrapper on the board. It’s really up to you, and how much time you want to dedicate to this thing. Here are the types of cheeses I recommend:
- A softer cheese like a brie – Saint Angel Triple Creme is the BEST. Let me repeat. It. Is. The. Best. I’ve recently started to love goat cheese as well, maybe topped with a fig preserve? Or you can go with a good ole’ Boursin cheese.
- A hard cheese like a cheddar or an asiago. Maybe a spicy cheddar or pepper jack? Just know your crowd and make sure they like spicy.
- A semi – hard such as a manchego or a provolone.
- And then a semi soft like a gouda. I REALLY enjoy a smoked gouda, the smokier the better.
- Then I add in 2 different types of meat. Here are a few of my recommendations, but feel free to stand at the butcher counter at Central Market and just sample everything. I may or may not be speaking from experience:
- Italian salami, my favorite is Soppressata, or Coppa, or Calabrese (don’t ask me to pronounce any of these). If these are soft enough I try to fold them in half or in fourths and just squeeze them in between some of the cheeses.
- Prosciutto. I really don’t have any details or tricks for this. It’s just too good to leave off. But the longer it’s aged, the better.
- Black Forest Ham, this brings me back to my childhood so maybe that’s why I like it so much. And I like to mix things up from time to time.
- After that I place a few bowls out and fill them with some other fun things such as:
- Olives – seriously anything from the olive bar works REAL well here.
- A preserve of some sort, fig, blueberry, whatever you have in the fridge.
- Mini cornichons
- Honey. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you could place a block of honey comb on the board. But meh… no need to be an overachiever here.
- Now it’s time to fill in the holes with some fruit. There is no need to use ALL of these suggestions but really whatever your little heart desires:
- Dried apricots or really any dried fruit
- Any other seasonal fruit you feel might fit well.
- Top it off with some garnishes in the little cracks:
- My favorite is marcona almonds. Trader Joes has rosemary marcona almonds that are so delish.
- Any other nuts that you may have on hand.
- Spiced nuts if you are feeling festive!
- Here is another one of those if you’re feeling fancy moments, you can add in springs of fresh herbs or even marigolds (apparently those are edible?).
- Lastly, add the crackers. There is not] right or wrong here. I like a good baguette sliced up, and some crackers, and maybe some thin pretzels. As long as you have something to serve all of the goodness with, you will be fine!
note: everything can be purchased at Trader Joes. They have a great selection for everything above! So no need to break the bank when creating a board.
That’s it. I’m telling you, if I can do this, so can you. And if all else fails, head over to Eatzi’s, buy one that is already put together, put it on a board at home and pretend you made it.
PS. I’ll put a little time-lapse up on my stories. So follow me on the gram! But if you have any questions just call me, beep me, or slide into my DM’s.