Winter is coming. This is not an HBO plug but a heads-up that the holidays are fast approaching. But the chill of the changing season can’t freeze the holiday spirits with the meetings of families and friends. And what better way to immortalize a gathering than with an amazing charcuterie board as one of the highlights.
It’s incredibly easy to create a charcuterie board nowadays – incorporating earthy tones, delicious ingredients, and eye-popping colors that tell a story. With a little bit of thought and some eye for detail, every board can be the belle of the ball.
Here are 5 charcuterie board concepts to try. Maybe you’ll feel a flick of inspiration from these ideas that will prompt you to get started with your very own charcuterie board spin.
A Classic Holiday Charcuterie
This classic holiday charcuterie board aims to incorporate the changing seasons and greet everyone’s taste buds a merry Christmas.
Let’s start with the cheese. A soft cheese like a log of goat’s cheese is a good way to incorporate holiday flavors. Simply add chopped dried figs and chopped pistachios to the goat’s cheese and blend gently with a spatula. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and top it with something sweet such as flavored fig jam and some more chopped pistachios.
A perfect way to carry that yummy cheese is with a well-toasted cracker. Pair them with crackers that you can simply put in a warm oven for a bit.
Not a fan of store-bought crackers? That’s fine! Simply slice thinly a brioche bread, or any bread of your choice really, and pop them in the oven until they’re brown and toasted.
It wouldn’t be a holiday board without throwing in a classic mix of blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries. If you feel like taking the extra step, you can take any of the mentioned berries and turn them into sugared berries.
For meats, a good selection of premium meats is a plus for this board. But you can keep it simple with the ever-delicious prosciutto and salami. They have a strong, respectable aroma and flavor that’s not easily overcome by the mix of flavors already present on this board.
Winter Themed Charcuterie
Like a line of pine forest after a snowy night, this board will be like a canvas that paints the picture of a calm white winter. It incorporates white-hued ingredients amidst strong greens and browns.
To start, the cheese is a Saint Nuage, literally translating to Saint Cloud. It is a triple cream cow’s milk cheese that spreads like butter even at cooler temperatures. Simply place it in a bowl and top it with your choice of honey.
Accompany this light cheese with brie. Although light, brie offers a more rigid option that can be portioned. Lightly top the brie with rosemary leaves.
A good accompaniment to spreadable cheese is toasted baguettes. No hassle here; pick out a loaf from your trusty baker and make sure to get the freshest one.
For fruits, thinly slice granny smith apples, oranges, and couple these with green grapes. These serve as a great balance to the strong cheese.
Lastly, some large green olives. And please, please, don’t use the canned ones.
Arrange these on a large white wooden board and you’ll have a picturesque scene of a calm winter morning.
Pre-ordered Charcuterie Box
Bring color to the party even without your presence by sending over a boxed charcuterie. Because all the ingredients are already prepped inside the box, the only thing your loved ones need to do is the actual arranging of food elements across a board. Check out our new branded boards that just arrived!
While we try to keep the ingredients fresh, shelf-stable is the name of the game. Sharp cheddar, gouda, and romano are great examples of delicious but longer-lasting cheeses. Slice them into sticks and they’re good to go.
Crackers like saltines might be too much salt. So instead, pair the cheeses with some sweet macaroons and aromatic dark chocolate.
Strawberries have a good shelf life of about 3 to 4 days if you leave them uncut. But if you decide to cut them, they’ll last for about a day or two. In any case, they’re great as a companion in this charcuterie box. Black and green olives last for a few days and they provide a good balance to the strong flavors.
For the meat, it’s charcuterie baby! Pick whatever you want but something like ‘nduja is a good partner to the cheeses mentioned here.
Lastly, spreads’ shelf life is not a problem. The contents are in a bottle designed to last until their expiration date.
Sometimes, we just have a harder time setting up a charcuterie. If you don’t know already, there is a pre-packaged, boxed charcuterie sold online (cue Platterful). The only effort you’ll exert is setting up the ingredients neatly on the board.
Hot Chocolate Dessert Board
Credit: Chenee Today
Hot chocolate as charcuterie? What? Sure.
Charcuterie is meant as a way to serve up cured meats and cheeses. But charcuterie also refers to an artistic way of arranging edible things such as sweets on a board accompanied by a fountain of hot chocolate.
Binging with Babish has deciphered a way to recreate The Simpsons’ Ned Flander’s hot chocolate. Even if we take away the over-the-top garnish of smores, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings, we’re still left with a thick and delicious mug of hot chocolate.
Treats such as maple-glazed pecans, waffle cookies, frosted gingerbread cookies, and peppermint Oreos will provide ample variety to flavor on the board. It’s a centerpiece that is essentially a warm hug in a mug.
Baked Brie Board
Let’s get another cheese theme as the centerpiece of a charcuterie board.
Baked brie is simple to make. In a preheated 350F degree oven, place an 8-ounce brie round and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is soft but the outside is still intact. In a large pan or skillet, cook 8 ounces of mushrooms using 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the brie to a serving platter and top with the cooked mushrooms, pistachios, and walnuts.
Alongside this delectable baked brie, scatter a selection of crackers, toasted bread, pine nuts, walnuts, fruits, and other cured meats.