For effortless entertaining, nothing beats a lovely fruit and cheese platter with sweet and savory nibbles. It is ideal for summer get-togethers as well as cozy Christmas and New Year's gatherings. And when you have a whole cheese station set up for the party your guests are going to be delighted! Plus you don't have to put in a lot of effort to make a cheese station so it is a win-win situation. This article will give you all the details you'd need to set up a perfect and lovely cheese station this Christmas or new year.
Pick a Cheese platter or board and related utensils
Cheese can be served on a variety of surfaces, including dinner plates, serving platters, plastic trays, wooden cutting boards, cheese domes, and marble slabs.
Unless the cheese is cubed or already sliced, cheese knives should be included with the dish so that guests can help themselves. Use steak knives for hard cheese and butter knives for soft cheese if you don't have any ornamental cheese knives. Each cheese should have its own knife, although if required, related types of cheese can share a knife. For example, Gouda and Cheddar can share a knife, but completely different cheese flavors, such as blue cheese and Manchego, should not be mixed.
Remember to keep small plates on your station for guests to easily serve themselves whatever they want from your cheese platter station.
Presentation is the key
To arrange your cheese platter, you don't need a master's degree in culinary arts, lol. Simply follow this guide and you will be good to go.
- You should always place the cheese on the platter or board first, then add the garnishes or small bites to fill in the gaps. Or if you have a circular or square tray, fill the middle with garnishes like fruits and nuts and arrange the cheese around them. If you are using a rectangular tray then set the cheese in a row on the tray, leaving a few inches between each cheese, and then fill in the gaps with any garnish.
- If you're serving a wedge of cheese with skin on three sides, consider cutting the rind off two sides so that your guests can simply cut a piece of cheese to eat. You can also cut a small wedge out of a small wheel of cheese (such as Mt. Tam or Camembert) to show guests how the cheese should be cut without any mess.
- If you're serving more than three types of cheese, you don't have to put them all on the same platter, try to spread them on the station.
- If you're presenting individual cheese plates to each person, start with the mildest cheese and work your way up. Don't worry about it if you're presenting a single large dish of cheese.
- Remember to keep checking the cheese platter station during the celebration to make sure it isn't in complete disarray.
- Try to mark every kind of cheese with a little marker. When each cheese is labeled with a cheese marker, guests always appreciate it. It also relieves you of the burden of having to explain to guests what type of cheese is on the platter over and over again.
What else to put on your cheese station?
- Fruits like apples, peaches, figs, oranges, berries, plums, dates, apricots, pears, and grapes are some of the fruits that you can put on your cheese station.
- Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, and various mixed nuts are among the nuts available to put on cheese stations. It's best if the nuts are salted or toasted.
- Sausages, sliced salami, sliced pepperoni, and other Italian meats are examples of charcuterie meats that can be put on a cheese station. They give your cheese a salty flavor.
- Pickles and olives.
- Small jars of honey, mustard, distinctive jams such fig orange jam, and sauces like basil pesto, arrabbiata sauce, and sun-dried tomato pesto are among the sauces and dips available. Along with cheese platters, basil pesto is a must-have.
- Choose from a variety of shapes and textures, including buttery and seedy crackers and slices of bread. A good French baguette, cut into little slices, is also a great option. Visual interest can also be added with pretzels or crispy breadsticks. Chimichurri may be purchased online and goes great with salty crackers.
With these tips and tricks rest assured that you will be having a blast this Christmas and New Year. Now that we have sorted your food plans, go ahead and start planning your Christmas and new year gifts to send out this year. You can find some customizable new gift hampers online which are our favorite because they add a personal touch.