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Recipes

Trendy Meets Easy: Enjoy Charcuterie

Posted: 2/14/2013

An easy-to-prepare charcuterie platter can help you have time to enjoy your own party
An easy-to-prepare charcuterie platter can help you have time to enjoy your own party.

(NAPSI)—For a classic party dish that’s popular at today’s gatherings, choose charcuterie—a platter of cooked and dry-cured meats, sausages and smooth pâtés accompanied by crusty baguettes, pungent mustards, enticing cornichons, pickles and other savory morsels. It can make a great appetizer, entrée, picnic staple or the main attraction at a tailgating party. What’s more, it’s easy to create and readily transported to tailgating events and holiday parties.

There are a few elements to consider when assembling a charcuterie platter:

1. Textures: Select foods with a variety of textures—firm sausages, soft pâtés, crusty baguettes, artisan breads and crackers.

2. Flavors: The smoky, spicy and salty flavors of sausages and cured meats harmonize well with the buttery-smooth flavors of soft and semifirm cheeses and the acidity from pickles or cornichons. Leave the smoky cheeses for another occasion as such flavors are too similar to the smoked meats and sausages. Also, select unflavored cheeses, none of the herb or garlic varieties. A classic French charcuterie presentation might include fruit such as figs, dates or dried apricots.

3. Colors: Pair green olives and cornichons with dark cured meats, white baguette slices and pale yellow cheese selections.

4. Shapes: Fold some of the paper-thin sliced sausages into quarters, forming a small triangle. Roll a few of the sausage slices into cylinders. Slice some of the cheeses into wedges or rectangular strips. Crackers that are rectangles, hexagons or squares also add contrasting shapes.

Here’s an interesting way to present bread and sausages:

Prosciutto Breadsticks

Makes 5 to 6 servings

  • 10 pencil-thin crisp breadsticks
  • 10 paper-thin slices prosciutto

No more than 1/2 hour before serving, tightly wrap one prosciutto slice around the top half of one breadstick. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover loosely with waxed paper and keep at room temperature.

5. Drinks: Hearty, earthy-toned red wines are a natural flavor mix for the blend of charcuterie platter flavors.

6. Signs: Your guests may appreciate small labels that identify the meats, sausages and cheeses, especially the spicy, hot varieties.

Learn More

For tips, recipes and more, visit www.hot-dog.org.

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