Cheese Board What I am eating now
It’s Friday night as well as National Champagne Day, so I am thinking a lovely cheese board. Now this can get super expensive if you go to the store hungry, so my advise is to plan this out in advance. Maybe go after breakfast or mid morning snack. Trust Me. I have gone into Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Publix think I would just pick 2-3 small cheeses, some dried/cured meats, fruit and crackers and next think I know I just spent of $100!!!
As I am one for proper manners and always bring a hostess gift if I am going to a friends or friend of a friends house, a cheese board is always welcomed. Especially for when girl friends get together after a long week and you know you will drink a bottle of wine by yourself.
You can create a fabulous cheese board for 4-6 people for about $25. Here are my steps:
First, Don’t Go Hungry!!! –
Second- Go to a market that has an olive bar, like Stop & Shop or Shaws in NE, select Publix in SE, and or Fresh Markets. I don’t like Whole Foods Olive bars as they are overpriced and do not have the selection. Now if you are not careful you will spend over $10 just on the olive bar!! I get the olive medley and throw in some Kalamata olives. A small tub only, ¾ full. Make sure that you are not getting a lot of oil, because that adds weight when checking out. Good olive bars will also have your pickles.
Third-Dried/Cured Meats. These can be uber expensive. Go to the deli counter and get 8 thin slices of hard salami and prosciutto. There are some amazing domestically made dried meats coming to market. I always support local artisanal purveyors. So if they are in your deli case, get those!
Fourth-Cheese. 2-3 varieties is more than enough. I get the smallest weights, again thinking of check out! I recommend the following keeping in mind that the more artisan the more expensive:
Manchego-most stores now have their own house label.
Vermont Cheddar-Sharper the better.
Brie-again stores house label.
Herb Cheve-simple and great for those guests who are used to having some sort of dip.
Fifth-Bread. Crunchy on the outside soft and lovely on the inside. Baguette made that day is the best. Sliced thin.
Mustards- Dijon and whole grain is a must. Which you should have in your refrigerator. Just a smear will do of each.
I always bring my cheese knives just in case when I am bringing a cheese board. Presentation is everything!
Always have beautiful solid wood, preferable handmade in the USA cutting board/cheese board. Make sure it has aged completely and is not varnished. Every time you cut into a varnished cut board, the varnish comes off onto knives and your food that you put in your mouth.