If you've been spending a lot of time scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or even Pinterest, chances are you've probably seen a picture or two of a charcuterie board. Using a variety of ingredients, it's almost impossible not to stop for a moment and admire these beautifully arranged boards of cured meats, dried fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, crackers, jams - we could go on forever!
For as complex as it looks, it's actually pretty simple to put together! All it takes is a little thought, strategy and creativity before you have yourself an awesome halal charcuterie board to show off. Read on to see how you can make one yourself at home ?
What is a charcuterie board?
Credit: @halalplatesny on Instagram
Charcuterie (pronounced [shar-koo-tuh–ree]) is essentially the culinary art of arranging and preparing cured meats, cheeses and finger foods on a platter or board. Served as an appetizer, most charcuteries use meats like bacon, salami and ham. But since we're making a halal version, these can be easily swapped out for other cuts of meat like beef, chicken and turkey.
What should I use for the base?
Credit: @boxnrenderdesign on Instagram
You don't need a special board to create your charcuterie. As long as you've got some type of flat surface to serve it on, you're good to go! Use a wood cutting board, slate board or serving tray. If you don't have anything on hand, you can easily find plenty of great options online or in stores like IKEA.
A great thing about making charcuterie boards is that there are no rules! You can keep it as simple as you want or take it to the next level with as many ingredients as you like. It's also up to you whether you prefer serving a small plate or a huge platter. To start off, take a look at some of the common things you'll find on a charcuterie board. Keep in mind that you're free to add or remove ingredients to your liking ?
- Meat: Any type of cured meat or cold cut works (i.e chicken, beef, turkey). You can also add sausages too.
- Cheese: Aim for 3-5 different types of cheeses with varying levels of firmness. Serve them in cubes, slices and wedges. Here's a simple guide for reference:
- Soft: Mozzarella, burrata, brie, camembert, goat cheese
- Semi-soft : Gruyere, havarti
- Semi-hard: Gouda, cheddar, provolone
- Hard: Parmesan, pecorino, Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Bread and crackers: Choose artisan breads and gourmet crackers with different shapes, textures and flavours. For any gluten allergies, these can be easily swapped out with gluten-free options.
- Fruit: Fruits are great palate cleansers and complements well with cheeses. You can include figs, apples, grapes, berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries), dates and cherries.
- Antipasto vegetables: As colourful additions to your board, this is the perfect chance to clear out any antipasto vegetables from your fridge and pantry. Use pitted and stuffed olives, sun dried tomatoes and pickles.
- Jams, spreads and chutneys: Honeycomb, pesto, fig or apricot jam.
- Nuts: Add a little crunch by including raw almonds, pecans, pistachios or even chocolate covered nuts.
Tips and tricks
- Start off by placing your condiments and spreads across the board. Serve them in small bowls so that you can lean crackers, stack cheese or pile dried fruits up against them.
- If you're purchasing cured meat from the butcher, get them sliced and ready to go at the store.
- Don't place olives and nuts at the edge of the board. You don't want them rolling off everywhere when serving ?
- For final touches and garnishes, use rosemary, thyme or edible flowers. Just remember that everything on the board should be edible!
Need a visual reference to inspire your arrangement? Check out Charcuterie Cheese Board on Instagram where you'll also find more handy tips to making an awesome charcuterie board.
And there you have it! With this easy guide, you'll be able to create a beautiful, halal and delicious charcuterie board at home with no problem ?