How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board

Cheese Knives

Is there anything better to set out at a party than a cheese board? We think not! The variety of the flavors that live on a well-crafted cheese board will excite your guests’ senses, while the casual service of it encourages mingling. It’s perfect for any cocktail or appetizer hour.

The trick to putting together a truly wonderful board is to vary the tastes and textures on it, and not just any old cheese combination will do. Below are all of the elements you need to create a rave-worthy cheese board for your next party.

 

The Cheeses

When it comes to the star of your cheese board, variety will be the name of the game. Varying flavors and textures will keep everyone’s taste buds excited. Choose a hard cheese such as parmigiano-reggiano to sit across from a soft goat cheese. Choose a mild brie to sit across from a heady gorgonzola. Be sure to purchase quality cheeses, and skip on flavored cheeses; buffalo cheese spread has no place on a gourmet cheese board.

As far as quantity, we recommend serving to four-five quality cheeses.

cheese knives

The Sweets

Figs, sweet grapes, thin pear slices, honey spreads and preserves are a must on your cheese plate. The sweetness of these accompaniments provides a brilliant contrast to the saltiness of the cheeses, guaranteeing a wonderfully flavorful experience.

Artesano Lavendar dinnerware

The Salty and Savory

On the opposite end of sweet, salty and savory are also staples in a great cheese board. Savory truffle spreads and chutney across from a variety of olives and cured meats will add the perfect options for picking and pairing. And, of course crackers and a sliced baguette will complete the board perfectly.

Artesano Lavender dinnerware

Cheers to That!

Take your party to the next level by providing wines that pair well with each of the cheeses you have chosen to serve. If you’re serving a parmigiano-reggiano, offer a Chianti. Have a sharp aged cheddar on your board? Open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Serve brie with a chilled Chardonnay.

Wine, cheese and hand-selected accompaniments means a delicious experience for all- and what better way to warm everyone’s hearts? Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Garlic Feta Dip (aka The Party Starter)

April is National Garlic Month. So, either pull up a chair or stand way back…depending on how you feel about garlic.

Nothing like starting a party off with garlicky appetizers to get everyone on the same playing field. This creamy dip is just the trick. We love the mix of feta and ricotta, making it super smooth, yet substantial. The fragrant garlic, herbs and roasted red pepper add just the right kick when paired with veggies and pita chips. This is one of those party starter aps that is easy to prepare and pays off with lots of complements.

 

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Shown: Flow “Two-in-One” 18″ Platter

 

Recipe: Garlic Feta Dip

Ingredients
1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
½ lb. whole milk ricotta
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 Tb. fresh chopped thyme
1 Tb. dried oregano
1+ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 large roasted red pepper (jarred in fine)
Black Pepper to taste
Pita bread, cut into wedges or pita chips
Kalamata olives as garnish

Directions
Using a food processor, pulse the feta, ricotta, garlic, oil, lemon juice, herbs and crushed red pepper together until smooth. Drain and dice the roasted red pepper. Scoop the mixture into a bowl. Fold in the red pepper and ground black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil on top and serve with pita wedges and olives.

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 miniutes
Recipe provided by A Spicy Perspective

Recipe: Korean Pancakes (Pajun)

Veggie filled pancakes with spicy dipping sauce. Who’s in?

This is one of those recipes that we say add to your repertoire. Korean Pancakes, known as Pajun (Pajeon) are made from a standard savory pancake batter mixed with various fresh vegetables, then are pan-fried to perfection. They are easy to make and work on many different levels. These savory bites are great as an appetizer, a main dish for vegetarians, a side to your steak or as an entrée for Asian night. Plus, it’s kid-friendly!

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Shown on Urban Nature Brown Glass Dinnerware.

 

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Shown on Urban Nature Brown Glass Dinnerware.

 

 

Recipe: Korean Pancakes (Pajun)

First, whisk up the soy dipping sauce. Next, beat the pancake batter. Then, let the batter rest while you chop up the veggies. Use a mandolin or julienne finely.

Ingredients

For the Pajun:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups freshly grated potatoes or frozen hash browns, completely thawed
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced julienne
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced julienne
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut in 1 in. sections
  • Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tb. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tb. sugar
  • 1 Tb. sesame oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Directions

  1. Place all the dipping sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk and warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Whisk again and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the flour, water, egg and salt. Set the batter aside to rest.
  3. Preheat two non-stick skillets to medium high heat. Slice all the veggies julienne (long thin strips) and mix into the batter. Pepper to taste. If the batter still seems very thick, after the veggies are mixed in, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well.
  4. Now add a little oil to each skillet and swirl around. Ladle enough veggie batter into each skillet to completely cover the bottom. Fry for 4-5 minutes, per side.
  5. Repeat with remaining batter. *Using two 12 inch skillets, you should have enough batter to make 4 large pancakes.
  6. Cut the Korean pancakes into wedges and serve warm with the dipping sauce.

Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Recipe provided by A Spicy Perspective

villeroy_boch_korean_pancake_2b

Shown on Urban Nature Brown Glass Dinnerware.