I love cheese, I love meat, and I love bread. Technically cheese/charcuterie plates/boards are appetizers, but my husband and I often enjoy them as a meal for lunch or dinner. One of my favorite things about this type of food is the variety, you can mix and match however you like. Creating your own charcuterie board can give you the feeling of being in France or Italy, without the airport lines and extra fees.
A professional looking board can be whipped up in minutes and it doesn't have to break the bank. This Instructable focuses on creating a delicious meat platter.
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Step 1: Meat
Select an assortment of precooked/cured/preserved meats such as salami, prosciutto, sausages, pates, and spreads. I am not a fan of pre-sliced packaged prosciutto, so I get mine at the deli counter at Whole Foods--it is hands down one of the better prosciuttos I've tried.
Step 2: Cheeses
Selecting cheeses for your board is pretty easy. It's recommended to have a soft, semi soft, firm and a hard cheese. Brie is a good soft cheese, as is mozzarella (not the shredded/fake stuff) or goat cheeses. Gouda and bleu cheese are good semi-soft. Hard cheeses are aged such as parmesan and asiago, or my favorite---Santori's Rum Runner.
Step 3: Accompaniments
Spreads and jellies, fresh/dried fruits, vegetables, nuts, olives, crackers and bread all make great accompaniments to a platter.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
When planning for a group of people, about 5oz of food is a good rule of thumb. Place all of your meats and accompaniments on a nice tray and enjoy!