CREATE A KNOCKOUT CHEESE PLATE & THEN SOME

party-platters-2In less than 10 minutes

DO YOU WANT TO IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS WITH SOMETHING OUTSTANDING?

Well, guess what?! We’ve got it all outlined for you and ready to go! This cheese platter will not only knock the socks off your guests but you will be exhilarated by how easy it is to create. Simple yet unique, we believe that’s the best combination.

 

PRESSED FOR TIME?

Not a problem. We totally get it. Running a restaurant we are often hustling when we entertain. Having a formula that is quick and easy to follow makes all the difference in world when you’re trying to live up to your foodie reputation!

 

QUALITY & BUDGET MEET

Yes, you can assemble a hot ensemble without spending a million dollars. Don’t find yourself dropping a fortune on dozens of ingredients that will only fulfill one meal. Yes, investment pieces (as we call them) are important, but these add value over time. Investment pieces include good olive oil, vinegar, sea salts, jams, etc.

We also want to stress that you’re not saving anything if you opt for crappy quality. In the long run, it’s not the best bet for your body or your buds (taste buds that is). Crappy food supports crappy meals and crappy health. There is definitely a happy balance where you can stretch your dollar, your experience and your imagination.

We are happy to share our savvy tips with you to help your pocket and your taste buds.

Let’s begin with how to make an appetizer plate stand out.

 

CREATE A KNOCKOUT PLATTER & LOOK FOR:

  • Texture
  • Color
  • Flavor
  • Cooking Preparation
  • Food Groups

You want to seek variety in each of these areas. Read more about how you can do this….

 

TEXTURE: With regards to cheese, you don’t want every cheese to be hard or every cheese to be soft. Think of combining different types of textures for variety. This makes the senses go crazy with excitement and registers in the brains of your guests that your plate is fun and stimulating. We recommend selecting one cheese from each group.

Soft Cheese

  • Burrata alla Panna
  • Buffalo Mozarella
  • Cana de Cabra
  • Pico Goat Cheese
  • Papillon 

Hard Cheese

  • Pecorino Romano
  • Raw Cheddar
  • Raw Gouda
  • Feta
  • Kasseri

Think of texture when it comes to the crackers you serve as well. For example you could do a more classic cracker or flatbread in addition to grissini breadsticks, or tarrali wine crackers. We recommend picking two types of crackers with different textures.

 

COLOR: Think colors of the rainbow! How many colors can you piece together on a plate? Meats and cheeses will mostly fill the white to brown category. Lifting the color is easily done with a touch of veg and fruits. These are some food ideas for each color.

Red: tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cherries

Orange: bell peppers, carrots, mango, satsumas

Yellow: cherry tomatoes, golden beets, peaches

Green: artichokes, asparagus, chicory, castel vetrano olives,

Purple: figs, jams, balsamic, black/kalamata/thassos olives, beets, plums, dates

 

FLAVOR: What does this mean? Doesn’t everything have it’s own flavor? Yes, but it can be easy to fall into the bland trap. Think of varying sharp cheeses with more mild cheeses. Think, pungent, spicy, bitter, sweet, salty for all of the add on foods to this plate. Think an array of flavors for the palette.

Pungent: stinky cheeses, truffle oil, anchovies

Spicy: harissa, controne pepper, cherry peppers

Bitter: chicory, kale, vinegar, olives

Sweet: fruits, jams

Salty: nuts, cheeses, meats

 

COOKING PREP: So if this is an easy to assemble platter, why do I need to think about cooking prep? Well, when you’re selecting things to go on the plate, you may want to consider the following ways to vary how the cheeses, fruits, veggies and such are prepared. Get a variety of foods that are:

Raw: sliced veggies, raw fruit

Toasted: nuts and seeds

Pickled: olives, veggies

Fermented: prosciutto, cheese, wine

Sauteed: you name it

Roasted: you name it

This can go in a million directions but you get the idea. You don’t want everything on the plate to be pickled, or everything to be toasted, vary it up!

 

FOOD GROUPS: You could do just cheese, but we recommend doing a bit of everything.

Meat: cured meats, smoked salmon, pate

Dairy: cheese galore, tzatziki

Vegetables: every vegetable under the sun

Fruit: whole fruits, jams

Nuts: from truffle almonds to Italian pine nuts-yum!

Legumes: cannellini beans, garbanzos

Grains: crackers, bread

 

Now the magic comes together!

 

KNOCKOUT CHEESE PLATE & THEN SOME RECIPE:

Under $40 | Serves 4

1 round Cana de Cabra

1 raw gouda

1 Macrina baguette, toasted and sliced

1 box Grissini breadsticks

1 artichoke spread

1 handful sundried tomatoes

1 round Kalamata crown figs

1 container Greek giant beans

1 tub Castel Vetranos

1 cucumber, sliced

2 carrots, halved and julienned

 

The Ultimate Knockout Cheese Plate | Serves 6-8

1 round Cana de Cabra

1 round raw cheddar

1 duck salame

1 chorizo

1 box Grissini breadsticks

1 box Macrina truffle crackers

1 round Kalamata crown figs

1 fresh peach, sliced

1 container controne spicy almonds

1 jar Maida artichokes

1 container dolmas

1 handful sundried tomatoes

1 container Greek giant beans

1 jar Italian Chicory

1 tub Castel Vetranos

1 tub Thassos Sun Dried Olives

 

Optional Investment Pieces:

Black truffle oil (serve over hard cheese)

Maletti balsamic vinegar (serve over soft cheese)

Fig jam (serve in a side ramekin)

Pomegranate molasses (um, amazing over anything!!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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