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Chilly, fall nights are the perfect time to enjoy a flavorful charcuterie board and watch your favorite seasonal movies. These meat and cheese boards have even become a favorite for that last-minute Thanksgiving appetizers that the whole family can keep snacking on and even adding to throughout the day. This step-by-step walks through what to buy and how to put it all together.
First, gather your supplies.
Wood, metal and marble are popular choices for charcuterie boards because they are durable. Evaluate how many people you will be serving while choosing one, as you'll have to buy more food to fill up a larger board. A traditional serving platter should work just fine as the foundation. (Remember, to provide small plates so people can serve themselves and minimize touching surfaces.)
Cups and Bowls
Your dips and jams will be housed in smaller bowls, but there's no need to make sure they are the same size or style. Find what you have and spread them out across the board-there never has to be perfect uniformity on a charcuterie board!
Let's be real, most of us are here for the cheese. While a cheese shop is the best bet for high-quality cheese, you can find the types of cheeses you need, wherever you shop for groceries. Look for four to five cheeses, and include a blue cheese, a softer cheese and a hard cheese. Keep in mind that exceptionally eccentric cheese can be off-putting to some people, especially children.
The most popular meat choices for a charcuterie board include pancetta, hard salami, guanciale, prociutto and mortadella. You can also make smoked sausages for your family to cut pieces off of. For our fall board, try a seasonal flavor as well such as maple bacon.
Bread, crackers and breadsticks are your go-to here, and this is mostly up to preference. Try to provide a variety of different flavors. These sidekicks are usually the first to go, so make sure and keep a stock prepared.
Produce, Nuts and Other Condiments
When planning a fall charcuterie board, apples, grapes and cranberries are a necessity. This is the perfect time to bring out your favorite seasonal jam or apple butter and honey is a great pairing with goat cheese.
Finally, nuts such as candied nuts or pistachios and olives add a fun contrast. You can even add dark chocolate covered fruit to balance out the salty flavors in the meat and crackers.
For a further season flare, arrange gourds, pumpkins or dried corn husks around the board.
Second, Put It All Together.
1: Fill your cups and bowls with your dips, olives and other spreads.
2. Add your cheese and meat. Allow enough room for slicing. Meats can be rolled for easy access or laid flat.
3. Add your crackers and bread in small stacks around the bowls on your board. Shoot for three small stacks for each variety.
4. Add the rest. If you see any spaces on the board, fill them in with your other fun accompaniments as well as your seasonal decorations.
5. Finally, serve with small serving plates, and make sure there are plenty of knives and forks to cut off slices of the cheese and spread jam.
Final step, enjoy! For a video walkthrough, check out the video below from Better Homes and Gardens Food Stylist, Lauren McAnelly.