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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Idea: How to make the ultimate meat and cheese platter.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I'm already starting to think about our dinner menu.  One of my favorite parts of the meal is the first course.  The first course is the meat and cheese platter, or as my family calls it, the antipasto.  It's my favorite for two reasons.  First and foremost, it's DELICIOUS.  Secondly, it's the easiest part of the meal to put together.  Also, it looks pretty.  Does that count as a #3?  Everyone always says that I put out the best antipasto so I figured that I'd share our secret formula to our meat and cheese board.


what you need to make the best meat and cheese board

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How to make a meat and cheese platter.


Step one:  Choose what serving pieces to use.

Since we have a large extended family the serving pieces we need for the meat and cheese platter are a bit exaggerated.  We use our large board, a smaller board, plus several small bowls, and a basket.  We got the large board as a housewarming gift and LOVE it.

If you don't have a wooden board, the cutting board on this link would make a fabulous meat and cheese platter.  If you're looking for something more formal, this one is made specifically as a meat and cheese tray.  Whichever you choose to use, reserve it specifically for this.  Wood absorbs germs and no one wants to get sick from an antipasto.  The bowls we use are ice cream bowls similar to the ones on this link.  They may been made for ice cream, but they work perfectly for this!

Step Two:  Pick three cold meats to serve.

You're going to want to pick (3) different cold meats to serve on your meat and cheese platter.  Some of our favorites to include are soppressata, prosciutto di parma, a mild chorizo, or a genoa salami.  These are all pretty basic cold meats that would go with most cheeses.  They also plate pretty easily with the exception of the salami.

Step Three:  Pick three cheeses to serve.

We try to include at least one cheese per meat.  Our favorite cheeses to pair with the above mentioned cold meats are brie, ricotta salata, and provolone.  Since many of us have a cow milk allergy, I also include a chunk of manchego cheese on a separate board with it's own cheese knife.  This is one of my favorite cheeses!  It's a delicious cheese made from sheep's milk.

Step Four:  Pick your starch.

You could normally get away with a good bread sliced, but we save our Italian bread to eat with the stuffed shells.  Instead, I put out two different types of crackers with our meat and cheese platter.  My favorites are basic pita crackers like these and these fig and olive crisps from Trader Joe'sWarning:  The fig crackers are ADDICTING!

Step Five:  Put out some paired pickings.

Every good meat and cheese platter comes with some paired pickings.  Our favorites are roasted almonds, dried cherries or figs, a high quality pesto, caponatina, and olives.  You can get as creative as you want with your pickings, but I think these pair perfectly with everything mentioned above.  I put each picking in it's own ice cream bowl and scatter them throughout the table.

Idea:  Invest the few dollars in an espresso spoon like this one and use it for dip.  It does a great job of getting the perfect dollop of pesto on my brie, soppressata, and fig crisp creation.

The trick here is to have many options but only small quantities of everything.  You want your guests to get a taste of the antipasto, but not fill up on it because you have three more courses to go!

What's your usual appetizer for Thanksgiving?

16 comments :

  1. I've seen those companies that do platters on order, and their photos are sometimes pure heaven, the veggie, fruit ones, of course, not these with carcasses :p Someone should make a chocolate platter too! Speaking of cranberries, cranberry/cinnamon body spritz is back at AVON in the festive catalogue, I must make a new stash of it, it is my fave in the world.

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    1. But prosciutto di parma is soooo good, although it’s so expensive we only get it once a year. It’s about $20 a pound. A chocolate platter sounds AMAZING!! I’m going to look up ideas for that now.

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    2. Well, just some melted chocolate in the middle and a rich assortment of biscuits and fruit around it, I've done it before with rum in the white chocolate, but I'm afraid you Americans would add salty sticks and pretzels to it as well LOL

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    3. YES!! Chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorites!! It's the only way I'll eat a pretzel. Also, the snack bars that I usually buy are "Sweet & Salty Chocolate Nut Bar". :) Is that an American thing?

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    4. /rollshiseyesinascandalisedbritishposhmanner/

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    5. Dezzy should go to pinterest and look up dessert charcuterie boards. I have a ton saved on mine that I like to drool over when I have a sweet tooth.

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    6. Off I go to do that right now. It sounds like such a good idea!

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  2. I normally don’t serve an appetizer at Thanksgiving because I don’t want people filling up beforehand. But when I do a charcuterie board for parties, I have a slate board so I can write the types of cheeses in chalk. My faves to include are Marcona almonds and Kalamata olives. I love fig crisps and serve a fig jam with them.

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    1. I love the idea of the slate board! Macrona almonds sound good, but I don't like olives. My husband has been eating anchovies stuffed olives which totally make me gag. The fig jam sounds AMAZING!

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    2. We like the Dalmatia brand of fig jam. Olives are definitely either a love or hate thing!

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    3. I have to look up that fig jam. I love figs, but then Dez ruined it for me with the fig wasps. We'll have to look up if the wasps are in the jam. :)

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  3. Seems you've cracked. Or cracked on crackers? lol

    Can't say I've ever had an appetizer for any meal at any time. I eat and go lol

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    1. It's the best part of the meal!! For anniversary, we went to this little cafe just for their meat and cheese board. Sooooo yum :)

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  4. My mother in law always does a salami, cheese, and black olive on a toothpick for her meat and cheese platter. It's quite the hit each year.

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    1. Sounds sooo good!! Do you like soppersatta? It's like a drier salami with more flavor. That's what we usually use, but for Thanksgiving we'll splurge for the prosciutto di parma.

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    2. When I used to eat salami, I liked it. I'll splurge on prosciutto for Jason, but I don't like my family enough to set it out for the holidays LOL.

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