Our family is heading to Disneyland in March for Spring break. And we are excited. However, it became apparent that the Disney education in our house has been lacking. Which is extremely surprising considering my affinity to all things Disney, and my immense knowledge of Disney. Too the point that I surprise myself when I know obscure facts about Disney – I have no clue how I know so much.
Regardless, we decided weekly Disney movie nights were in order. And not just the Princess movies, but the Disney classic movies. I actually own many that are still in the original VHS movie package. Gulp. So we headed off to our local value village to find a VHS player.
With our family movie watching nights we tend to go for a simple supper, and we’re not talking pizza, we’re talking appie night. We do a mix of frozen and homemade appies, anything from frozen Mexican appies to quiche. Basically whatever is in your grocery frozen section that looks good to the girls that day. However, a guarantee item, Brie with baguette, and a homemade charcuterie board. Also just a note, as this post was being developed, my husband tagged me in a post regarding veggie charcuterie boards…interesting, and maybe for the next movie night. Up the veggie content!
But back to the charcuterie board, for a long time this was a foreign concept, we had heard about them, but never executed them. Then a restaurant opened near our home, we tried it. We fell in love, and obviously thought, we can create this at home with the help of deli centers, cheese stores and grocery stores.
The basics of a charcuterie board is meat, cheese, and condiments, in as little as 10 minutes you can have a beautiful board to enjoy with your family. How do you know what to put where? What to buy? How much to buy…here are some tips to keep your charcuterie board game on point!
Meat: as a guideline 2 ounces per person is suggested. Now if you have littles partaking in the charcuterie you’ll have to judge their appetites. We generally add an extra ounce for them. For our family of four, we generally prepare five ounces from a selection of three meats. We tend to go with salami, prosciutto, and chorizo. But the options are limitless, pate is a great texture change for a charcuterie board, so is smoked salmon, sausage, calabrese, ham, or mortadella. Pick a few of your favourites, and one that you’ve never tried before.
If you plan on preparing a charcuterie board for a party, because really how swanky and easy is that, up the meat to about five ounces per person.
Cheese: Choose one to two cheese. Usually a soft and a hard cheese are a great choice. Some great choices are, of course, brie, goat cheese, bocconcini, double smoked Applewood cheddar, Spanish manchengo, parmigiana-Reggiano or any of your favourite cheeses.
Bread and crackers: Keep it simple. Bread and crackers are the vehicles on which the cheese and meat enter your mouth! You don’t need to get all fancy with the breads as you don’t want to take away from the taste of the meat or cheese. We serve ours with water crackers and a nice French demi-baguette – perfect size for sharing with a family of four. The baguette also comes in handy with scooping up the mounds of melted brie.
Condiments: These will pull your board together, and they can enhance your board with acid and sweetness. We like to use a Sweet and Spicy mustard or a stone ground mustard and a cranberry relish. Olives, pickles or tomatoes add a nice acidic touch, nuts give a crunch, and fresh and dried fruit give a nice sweet balance to the board.
A charcuterie board is all about being simple and creative. Be adventurous, add chocolate, compound butters, or nut butters. It’s all about good simple food.