December 11, 2019
Hosting How To – Using a Charcuterie Board
One of the joys of homeownership is hosting a gathering in your home. Whether it’s a holiday party or a casual get together, food is usually the connecting factor. Picture your guests in the comfort of your own home, relaxed and enjoying food together. One of the tastiest and unique dishes to serve is what’s known as a charcuterie board. Today we are sharing 6 tips in our first of a series “Hosting How To – Using a Charcuterie Board.” Read on to see how easy they are to create and what an impact they have in your home!
What is a charcuterie board? A charcuterie (pronounced shar-koo-tuh-ree) is a collection of cured meats with complementary sides and sauces.These are also known as food boards or cheese boards. Displayed beautifully on your counter or table, they provide both form and function covering decor and dining for your guests.
1. Choosing the board – Charcuterie boards are usually made of natural wood, marble, bamboo or cast iron but do not have to be. A large platter or baking pan can also do the job. When choosing the size you need for your party, consider if it is to be an appetizer followed by a large meal (a smaller board), if it is to be the main dish for your event (a larger or even multiple boards) or if this is an after-dinner event (smaller sized again.) Pro-tip: Second-hand stores often have many of these at next to nothing prices!
2. Before you buy- Before going shopping, check your own pantry and fridge. The sky is the limit on what you can include on your board. Pro-tip: Choose items that your family eats. This way if it is not eaten, you will have it to enjoy afterward. (Specific food suggestions listed below)
3. What to buy- When choosing what is going on your board, you don’t have to spend a lot. A nice sized board can be put together for as little as $25. You want to include 1-2 meats, 2-3 cheeses, 2-3 cracker/bread options, and then fruits, nuts, veggies and olives/pickles as your fillers. Something sweet like chocolate is always nice also. If you are lost when it comes to choosing cheeses, this article may help. Pick a soft, semi-soft, and a hard cheese and you are good to go.
4. Garnishments- Besides the grapes or berries that you choose, the fruits can be used as garnishments on your board. Citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, and grapefruits can be sliced open and arranged on your board for exciting contrast and color. Baby carrots, celery sticks, or sliced cucumber add color and variety also. Any edible herbs like Rosemary will add that extra elegance to your board.
5. Arranging your board – Once you have purchased all of your foods, there is a specific way to build your board. With all of your foods out in front of you, first put down any bowls that would hold your dipping sauces. Then looking at your foods and garnishments, choose the largest pieces first. ie any citrus fruits you may have sliced for decor or large breads. These larger pieces will act as anchors for all of your other foods. Then add your cheeses. You do not have to slice the entire block of cheese but we do recommend at least starting to slice so your guests feel open to eating it. (No one likes to start the slicing for some reason!) Once your largest pieces are in place begin adding your fillers. Add some berries here and nuts there. Snip your grapes into bunches of 3-4 (just use scissors) and tuck them in haphazardly. When placing your meats we like to fold and tuck each piece upon each other. Look at which areas of your board may need a little color and add some. Don’t worry about keeping each food item in one specific spot. Charcuterie boards are meant to be beautiful but also give a relaxed and abundant feeling to your guests. Finally, add your herbs. Tuck them in for that beautiful bit of greenery. Let them hang off the edge of your board if you want. Not only do they look beautiful but the aroma is incredible.
6. Final thought – if you know beforehand that you have guests with allergies or sensitivities (nuts or gluten etc.) we recommend creating a smaller board without the allergens to prevent cross-contamination.
We hope you enjoyed our tips on using a charcuterie board. Not a homeowner yet or looking to upgrade your space? We are the ones to help. Contact our team at Method and we can get you started towards a new home and have you partying with style in no time!