Winter Charcuterie and Cheese Tray

Meat and cheese trays are great for snacks, appetizers, or even a light lunch. They can be served to a crowd or just a family.

For a few years now, charcuterie and cheese trays have been very popular. I’m always looking for ways to make cheese trays better than the last one. I have some tried and true products, I always use and when I have a crowd, I like to try new foods too. To me, cheese trays are one big piece of art. You can make it into whatever you want and it will always work.

My daughter has a growing interest with cooking and baking, so I decided to show her the process of how I make a charcuterie and cheese tray. I tried to guide her on how I think about the layout of the food. I don’t just lay out everything on a board and throw it on the table (though that’s perfectly okay, if that’s what you do). There is no wrong or right way to layout a charcuterie board. I just have my preferred way. While coaching my daughter, I let her do most of the work.

 

You can find all the ingredients you need for a charcuterie board at your local grocery store. Some stores carry more cheese and deli items than others. Just work with what you can find. Look for a cheese bin around the deli section for unexpected food choices. Also, be open to trying new things. This time around I bought cheeses that my family would remark about but would also be open to trying. To my surprise, everyone loved the spicy Ghost Pepper Cheddar cheese. But it was spicy too! I loved the Muenster cheese as well.

I like to start arranging the charcuterie board with the item that I have the most of. In this case, that was meats and cheese. Additionally, if I have any ingredients that need to be in containers (olives, fruit, etc.), then I either center them in the middle or find a spot for them as well. Once the meat and cheese are on the tray, you can fill in with the remaining ingredients. Then garnish with herbs to fill in holes. I always follow these steps when I make a charcuterie board. Again, there is no wrong or right way to make so don’t be intimidated by my steps.

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Winter Charcuterie and Cheese Tray

This delectable charcuterie board features nuts, berries, sausage, and an array of cheese. It’s sure to delight a crowd as an appetizer or just the fam’ for a late night snack.

  • Author: Crystal Holliday
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

  • Conecuh Spicy & Hot Smoked Sausage
  • Italian Salami
  • Peppered Salami
  • Green & Black Pitted Olives
  • Prickly Pear
  • Bartlett or Yellow Pear
  • Nectarine
  • Blueberries
  • Peach
  • Brie Cheese
  • Muenster Cheese
  • Pepper Cheddar Cheese
  • Pretzels
  • Walnut/Raisin Mix
  • Crackers
  • Herb Garnish (thyme or mint)

Instructions

  1. First, arrange cheese on tray.
  2. Next, arrange meats on tray.
  3. Put olives in the middle in a separate dish.
  4. Fill in the tray with nuts, pretzels, crackers, and fruit.
  5. Lastly, fill in holes with garnish.

Notes

  • Keep cheese refrigerated until ready for use.
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This time around, it was also fun looking for different fruit. We tried prickly pears! I probably wouldn’t get them again but they are really cool-looking. When you cut them open, they are so pretty. Exotic fruits like pomegranate and prickly pear add in a special touch to charcuterie boards. When you cut them open they instantly become beautiful “works of
art” or food to look at and enjoy. Take this opportunity to test food you’ve always wanted to try. It’s always fun to see everyone’s reaction to new food.

Lastly, making a charcuterie and cheese tray is a great and easy way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Teaching my daughter, my process for making a charcuterie board was enlightening for her. She got to touch the food, snack as she went, and understand how the food all works together. When you prepare food, it makes you appreciate it more. So use these opportunities to get your family involved and make memories together.

What will you add to your winter charcuterie and cheese tray? Let me know in the comments.

My best,

 

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