Updated: Dec 24, 2020
In case you didn’t know, we are officially at the peak of the Holiday season. We all know that this is the time of year when all rules for healthy eating go out the door, and generally, we take this as a time to indulge in sweets and other decadent foods for a few weeks. Usually, most of us focus on heavy meals from Thanksgiving until New Years Day. We love all the extravagance that goes with cooking turkeys and hams and all the sides, but what about party food? Christmas Dinner is a no-brainer, but what do you serve during your girl’s night-in or your Ugly Sweater Christmas mixer.
Charcuterie boards have become an art form and they can be intimidating to those that have never tried to make one at home. Besides the pronunciation (shark coochie anyone?), this is one of the elements of hosting that seems extra bougie because it’s traditionally associated with wine pairings and expensive cheeses. But honestly, they can be so simple and budget-friendly and most importantly tailored to what you actually like. We intend to do a series that will cover the history, technique, and components of charcuterie and cheese boards, but we wanted to kick things off with a quick how-to on stepping your charcuterie board game up. Become an appetizer pro this holiday season with a quick Urban Hostess tutorial.
Every charcuterie board should have the following elements: soft, sweet, salty, and crunchy. This is a formula that may seem really vague, but it actually gives you the freedom to create a board that is tailored to you, regardless of dietary preferences. Pick at least 2 items from each of the categories below to ensure that you make a well-rounded board
Soft: creamy cheese, soft bread, dips, hummus
Sweet: jelly or spread, fresh or dried fruit,
Salty: Hard cheese, smoked or cured meat or fish, olives
Crunchy: fresh veggies, nuts, crackers, chips, pretzels
This is the fun part and the time to use your inner creative eye. The amazing part about charcuterie is that the ingredients do all the work to make themselves look beautiful. If you follow the basics you’re bound to get ingredients that vary in color and texture, which will make your board interesting and fun. Our tip is to pick one category of ingredient as the central element and then work around. So if cheeses are what you choose, place those on the board first and then add other elements around that placement. Garnish is optional and we recommend using any herbs that you may have handy to elevate the board- but they really don’t need much additional decor.
Use ingredients that are traditionally available or in season during the time of year to make it stand out for the Holidays, so think dried cranberries, candied pecans, and fresh pomegranates.
All the items we used can be found in your local grocery store and you can make it as budget-friendly as you want.
Comment below and let us know your favorite charcuterie board ingredients for the holidays!
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