#handcraftededibles ~ The Perfect Cheese Tray
In an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.
Here's what we're posting this week...
- Amy's Cooking Adventures shared her Game Day Meat and Cheese Platter
- Making Miracles made The Perfect Cheese Tray
- Christmas Tree Lane posted How to Set Up a Cheese Platter
- A Day in the Life on the Farm wrote about Peach Jalapeno Cheese
- Culinary Adventures with Camilla rolled some Festive Savory Cheese Truffles
Here are a TON of fantastic resources as you're considering building your perfect Cheese Tray this holiday season - whether to share at your next get together, or package up on a festive tray with some saran wrap and a lovely bow as a beautiful gift idea!
- The Perfect Cheese Tray by In Sock Monkey Slippers
- The Perfect Cheese Tray by Real Simple
- Build the Cheese Plate of Your Dreams by Avoiding These 6 Common Mistakes by Bon Appetite
- How To Put Together a Cheese Plate by WikiHow
- How To Set Up A Cheese Platter from Food Network
- How To Put Together A Great Cheese Plate At A Regular Supermarket from Buzz Feed
The main suggestions:
- Have no more than 3 - 5 cheeses on your tray; there is too much of a good thing in this case! You don't want to overwhelm anyone's palates.
- You can do a themed tray (all from a certain country, all soft, all sharp, etc.), or try to have one sheep's, one goat's, and one cow's milk cheese. Another option is to have three different textures to choose from: creamy and spreadable, firm, etc.
- Don't crowd your cheese plate.
- Choose accompaniments that compliment the cheeses you've selected - try options like salami, pistachios, quince paste, wine jelly, grapes, apple slices, crackers, baguette slices, etc. (Serve the crackers / bread on a separate plate, or in a bowl next to your cheese offerings).
- Pre-cut your cheese to keep things neat and clean on the tray, just don't cut too thin, nor too far in advance to prevent the cheese from drying out.
- Set your cheese out about an hour ahead of time to allow the cheese to come to room temperature.
- Use a wire cheese cutter and / or separate knives for each type of cheese.
- 3 7-8 ounce cheeses: sharp white cheddar, smoked gouda (my FAVORITE), and delicious and creamy brie
- Fruit: Fresh grapes, sliced crisp sweet red apples
- Crackers: Large wheat round crackers
- Nuts: Pistachios
- Meat: Genoa Salami
These selections offer a large variety of mix-and-match options for different flavor combinations. I found I really enjoyed the creamy brie followed by sweet grapes, and the amazing smoked gouda with a slice of crisp sweet apple. That was really delicious. The salami paired well with the cheddar and crackers too.
Next week there will be a "Go Nuts" theme with variations of spicy and sweet nut mixtures (amongst other nutty goodness) which are also fantastic options on a tray like this! I really wanted to make one up to go on this tray, but my garage door had other plans for my afternoon. Instead of getting to spend extra time in the kitchen yesterday on Sunday afternoon when I was putting this together, I was instead getting all of the electronic components of my garage door opener replaced because it decided to malfunction. Sigh. Oh well - I still was able to enjoy this lovely cheese tray and will enjoy the spicy sweet nut mixture when I get around to it later in the week! :)