January 30, 2013

Charcuterie



So what is  “charcuterie”? Pronounced shahr-koo-tuh-ree it is a French word that comes from chair “flesh” and cuit “cooked.” It refers to cooked, cured or smoked meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, rillettes, galantines, pâtés and dry-cured sausage
I see a charcuterie platter the same style  as a antipasti platter in Italian dining.  
 

  Making a Charcuterie plate

Just like a cheese board, a charcuterie platter is an ideal way to serve a party and please all palates. 
from http://blog.dartagnan.com/tag/charcuterie/
  • It should have a range of items representing the various styles of preparation from cooked to dry-cured. 
  • The meats should be complemented by something acidic, like marinated olives, or pickled onions.  
  •  mustard makes a nice accompaniment, as do spreads and jams.   
  • Allow two ounces per person, and serve with a rustic bread or good crackers.
  •  A hearty red wine (but not too heavy) will make a good accompaniment, as would a Riesling or Pinot Grigio.  
Specific Suggestions:

Meats:
Hard sausage like Salami-  Cervelat and soprasatta
Soft cured meats like serrano and prosciutto

Cheeses:
When in doubt, ask your local cheese purveyor what they recommend. I generally try to include both hard and soft cheeses on my boards, with pungent, creamy, and tangy options.
smooth: munster or havarti
strong: gorgonzola or blue
firm: sharp cheddar or an aged Manchego.
3-4 options should do. Choose a few cheeses from a single region

Spreads:
 fig, or apricot jam
seafood spread
Alouette cheese spread

Bread:
Put simply, you can’t have enough. Buy bread the day of and serve warm in a separate bowl or basket next to your board.
Sourdogh, french baquette; water crackers

Other accompaniments:
marinated olives
bacon-wrapped stuffed dates
horseradish mustard
spiced nuts
dried cherries

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