My Little Way to Make a Big and Bountiful Meat and Cheese Board

On my last post, I shared with you that we belonged to a supper club and that this month it was our time to host the supper.   My plan was to place a large meat and cheese platter as the center piece of our table.   As I searched for just the right board to use, I remembered a simple wooden desk that my Dad had made for me years ago before he passed away.  My son removed the four legs from the table and there was my large (5 feet long by 2 feet wide) beautiful wooden board..  Perfect!  Now to fill it with food.  Over the last two months, I scanned the sale circulars from local stores.  This allowed me to purchase a variety of cheeses and meats at sale prices and then store them in the freezer until I was ready for them.  Last week I prepared the mini cheese balls in advance.  This week I took the cheese and meat out of the freezer and placed them into the refrigerator.  During the week, I prepped as much as possible ahead of time.  I cubed and sliced the different hard cheeses.  I rolled and folded the slices of deli meat.  Next, I prepared the sugar coated pecans and the spicy nuts. ( I will share these recipes in a future post.)

Saturday morning I began setting the table. Each place setting was simply a plate, fork, knife, and wine glass. Instead of a dinner plate, each guest had a small dessert plate which I used to serve the seasoned bread dipping oil.

Although I was serving a variety of finger foods, I still wanted us to be sitting around the table instead of walking around the room.  Therefore I had to strategically place the different  meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies and nuts within arms reach of each guest.

First, I arranged the fruit on the board.  I washed the grapes and placed them on the board.  I cut a cluster of satsumas and leaves from our tree and used this as the centerpiece.  I added dried fruit around the oranges.  Then, I placed the sugar pecans and spicy nuts on the board.

grapes-and-satsumas
Next, I put some praline pecan bacon wrapped cocktail sausages into the oven.  The idea to add pecans came to me when I was rolling the cheese balls in the bacon and pecan mixture.  These turned out scrumptious.  I will share this recipe in my next post.  While these were baking my husband grilled some smoked sausage, pork boudin and shrimp boudin .  Boudin is a Cajun dish made with rice, meat and seasonings and stuffed into a sausage casing.  When cooked, I placed them on the board.

fruit-and-cheese-board-overhead
Now, I added the rest of the food.  I used a variety of sweet, sour, and spicy foods.  I also chose foods with different textures such as soft, hard and crunchy.  In the end I had sliced hams, sausages, boudins, smoked salmon with cream cheese, pepper jelly with cream cheese, mini cheddar cheese balls, habanero cheese logs, pepper jack and monterey jack cubes, cheddar, Swiss, smoked Gouda, and muenster slices, guacamole, olives, sweet pickles, sour pickles, cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, and kumquat preserves.  Lastly, I placed a variety of crackers, (plain, garlic, Parmesan, spinach, and sweet potato) around the board.
completed-fruit-and-cheese-board
When the board was complete, I drizzled the seasoned dipping oil onto each of my friends plates.

As our friends arrived, I placed the bread (one cheese and bacon stuffed pull apart bun and plain bun for dipping per guest) into the oven. When the bread was ready, I placed them onto white cupcake liners above each plate. Everyone found their seats and poured themselves a glass of wine.  Good times and good friends.  I truly am blessed.

–Penny

table-setting

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