How to Make a Charcuterie Board

So you’ve agreed to host some friends for a casual get together and you have no idea what to prepare?

Enter: charcuterie board.

Making a charcuterie board doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s basically a cheese board but with the addition of meats and ‘accessories’. Our simple how-to will show you how to throw one together in minutes and knock the socks off your guests.

Creating a Charcuterie Board

Meats

Depending on the size of your board you can choose just one variety or up to 3-4. Think about spice level: not everyone will like spicy meats but some may want at least one with a kick. Our favourites include proscuitto, calabrese, salami, and chorizo. If you’re feeling extra fancy you could even try a pâté. 

Cheeses

Use cheese to add texture to your board. Go with a variety of hard-er cheeses (cheddar, parmigiano, gouda) and soft cheeses (goat cheese, brie, blue cheese). Again, depending on the size of the board I would include at least 2-3 different types.

Carbs

AKA the meat and cheese vehicles and often the limiting reaction on a charcuterie board. I like to go with one or two types of crackers or one type of cracker and some kind of bread. The variety is nice when deciding what delicious food item from the board should be going into your mouth next.

Accessories

These can include: spreads (jam, chutney, jelly), fresh fruit (grapes), dried fruit and nuts (apricots, Craisins, almonds), or pickles/olives. The accessories are meant to give you a little nibble of something that isn’t meat or cheese – a palate cleanser. Again, depending on the side you can start with a couple, adding more if you like.

The most important thing to remember is that a charcuterie board is customizable and no two boards will be the same. Experiment with different cheeses, meats, and accessories. Maybe you’ll even find a new favourite!

Continue Reading

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is one of my favourite foods. Not only is it really customizable, it’s cheap, and tastes great in so many applications! This roasted red pepper hummus is easy to make and and can be added to school lunches with veggies, spread on sandwiches, or added to a charcuterie board as an appetizer. 

If you want to take this recipe to the next level try roasting your own red peppers instead of buying them jarred. It makes the recipe a little more complex but the flavour it adds is worth it. 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
A flavourful spread that would be a great addition to any sandwich, lunch box, or appetizer spread.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 can chickpeas (540mL), drained and rinsed
  2. 4-5 pieces of jarred roasted red pepper (or roast your own, see note)
  3. 1/4 cup oil (olive or canola would work in this recipe)
  4. 3 garlic cloves
  5. 2 tbsp tahini*
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and add them to a food processor.
  2. Pulse ingredients until smooth.
  3. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
  1. *Tahini is sesame paste, you can also substitute peanut butter if you don't have
To roast a red pepper
  1. Move your oven rack to the top position and set to broil.
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Slice the top of your pepper off, chop into 3-4 pieces, and remove seeds and pith (the white stuff!).
  4. Place peppers on the cookie sheet with skin side up and make them lay as flat as possible (this might mean strategically breaking them or cutting them - this creates an even roast).
  5. Broil for 2-5 minutes. This will depend on your oven, but the goal is to have lots of black bits and bubbles in the skin because it will make the next step easier.
  6. Peel the skin off your peppers. I find a pairing knife works well for this step.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Continue Reading

Baked Brie with Apple Walnut Topping

Baked Brie with Apple Walnut Topping

The crispness of fall is in the air and with that brings me the desire to eat rich, delicious comfort food. 

Enter: baked brie

Not only is this baked brie perfect as a stand alone appetizer, but also makes the perfect addition to a charcuterie board. The apple walnut topping is super simple to prepare and hilights some of the beyt flavours of the season. This brie is sure to be a hit in your house. 

 

Baked Brie with Apple Walnut Topping

Baked Brie with Apple Walnut Topping
Write a review
Print
Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 wheel of brie
Topping
  1. 1/2 apple, diced thin
  2. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped fine
  3. 2 tbsp Maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
  4. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. Slice the top rind off your brie and place in a brie baker or on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until centre is liquid-y and melted.
  4. Meanwhile add all topping ingredients to a small pot and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples have softened a little.
  5. Serve with crackers or as part of your next cheese board.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Continue Reading

Caprese Bites

Caprese Bites

As fall arrives, many of us are struggling with an overload and excess of tomatoes – many shapes and sizes.  Some beefsteaks and most likely some lovely sweet cherry tomatoes.  In my family, those cherry tomatoes are just as good as candy – we all pop them in our mouths, sometimes fresh off the plant!

This appetizer is a great way to use some of those tomatoes in a classic combination, in appetizer size – caprese salad bites.

 

 

Caprese Bites
Serves 5
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 10 basil leaves
  2. 10 cherry tomatoes, various colours
  3. 10 mini bocconcini balls
  4. balsamic vinegar (optional)
  5. olive oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pull out 10 longer sized toothpicks.
  2. On each toothpick, stack a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, and a cheese ball.
  3. Place or stack on serving plate of your choice.
Notes
  1. This recipe is very easy to scale up (or down) depending on your party size. If you are making it for yourself, then the sky is the limit!
  2. If you want to make it a bit more fancy, you could either drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top, or place it on the side for dipping. Both those flavours complement the cheese and tomatoes very well, making it a classic combination.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Continue Reading

How to Host a Dinner Party

How to Host a Dinner Party

If you’re anything like us this awesome summer weather has given you the urge to get together and share some beautiful food with your friends and family! You need not worry if you’ve never invited more than one person over to your home for a meal before. Today we’re sharing some of our best tips for hosting a dinner party!

Make it what you want

  • When you’re the host, it’s up to you: you don’t have to do all the cooking – make it a pot luck and ask specific people to bring specific items
  • Try choosing a theme! Brunch for dinner, foods from different cultures, or different cooking methods (BBQ).
  • When it comes to cleaning your home ahead of time don’t waste your precious minutes scrubbing the floor with a tooth brush! No one is going to notice, your guests are there to spend time with you not to inspect your floors!

How to Host a Dinner Party

Keep it Simple

  • The idea of hosting a dinner party used to give me so much anxiety – I’ve learned the best thing to do if you’re new to entertaining is to keep it simple. Simple menu, simple drinks, and it’s not necessary to blow your budget either. Pinterest may have given us some unrealistic dinner party goals, but all your guest will remember is good food and the people they were with.
  • It may not be the best idea to try a new, complicated recipe – stick to what is comfortable (or test it out ahead of time if you’re nervous)!

How to Host a Dinner Party

Do the prep ahead

  • We’re not saying you need to spend hours in the kitchen before your guests arrive to get things organized but we think spending some time ahead of your guests arrival will ensure you’re not spending the entire night in the kitchen.
  • We prep ahead as much as we can – make your appetizer dips a head of time, pasta sauces can be made ahead and even frozen, make a tossed salad earlier in the day (just don’t add the dressing!), or let your slow cooker do the work. Less time in the kitchen means more time with your friends and family enjoying the food and each others company. I know you’re picking up on the theme 😉
  • One final prep ahead tip: set the table the night before!

How to Host a Dinner Party

Be a thoughtful host and attendee

  • Be mindful of your guests dietary restrictions: this may mean tailoring a menu or providing an alternative option. 
  • We like to have a few beverage options as well, and will often have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Not everyone will want to have an alcoholic beverage; soda water, pop, or juice can be great alternatives.
  • If you’re attending a dinner party it’s nice not to come empty handed. If the host indicates not to bring anything for the meal, a small token of appreciation is a kind gesture. We’ve brought wine, chocolate, or another small gift.

How to Host a Dinner Party

What are your best tips for hosting a dinner party? Please share below in the comments!

Continue Reading