With friends coming over for game night, what is better to feed your friends than wine and cheese? When everyone is bringing board games to game night, bring the cheese board. Trust me, it's a much bigger hit than Sorry or Monopoly.
The best thing about a charcuterie board, other than the cheese, is there is something for everyone. Lactose intolerant? Vegan Cheese. Gluten-free? Gluten-free Crackers. Love pickles? Put out lots of pickles. Keep scrolling for a step by step guide to make the cheese board of your dreams.
Step 1. BOARD GAMES
Determine the size of the cheese board you will need by the number of guests. If it is just you, no shame- been there done that as a meal. Standard is 3 oz. of cheese for every mouth, which comes to a space of about 2.5 by 2.5 inches of food piled high for everyone-
If you want to get technical. In this case, bigger is always better- your eyes might be bigger than your stomach at the grocery store.
Step 2. CUT THE CHEESE
Set the cheese out first because it is the star of the show. Start assembling the board about 30 minutes before you want to eat because the cheese is best at room temperature.
Customize it to what you like- I used brie, blueberry goat cheese, and a sharp white cheddar. I always include a cheddar cheese for the people who don’t know if they like other cheeses yet. Cut the goat cheese log with dental floss ahead of time (Saves allot of mess later). You will want a variety but not too many- not more than 4 cheeses on the plate usually:
Hard cheese (Parmesan, Romano, Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, Provolone)
Soft cheese (Havarti, Mozzarella, Brie, Feta, Gruyere, Brie)
Goat cheese (Herbed or berry covered) A great option because less lactose and a little healthier and easier to digest than cows' cheese.
Blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Bleu d'Auvergne- a milder blue cheese) Yep, You either hate it or love it.
How to cut each cheese:
Step 3. SET OUT ACIDIC BOWLS
Place the bowls and ramekins spread out equally because you'll be building the rest of the board around them. Acidic treats such as olives or jams are great additions to your board and compliment the cheese. I used olives and pickles (dill spears which were a hit). Other options include:
Sun-dried tomatoes, fruit jams, honey, pickled okra, nuts, berries, hummus
Step 4. APPLES TO APPLES
Fruit and cheese make a great pair. Apples, grapes and berries are a safe pairing for any cheese you get. Grapes also make for a beautiful cheese board. I cut the apple in slices almost like apple sticks not to overwhelm the cheese. Dried fruit is also a great option
(I used later on keep scrolling). Other great options include:
Pears, oranges, figs, dried apricots, berries, cherries
Step 5. WE HAVE THE MEATS!
I use prosciutto because it is light and delicious to wrap cheese in. Make a wave of meats by rolling the prosciutto and stacking the salami slices- I recommend so you don't have half your board the same color/texture. Other great meat options:
Pepperoni, dry salami (thinly sliced), prosciutto, sausage, jerky, roasted turkey and ham deli meats
Step 6. CRUNCH IT!
Add crackers, pretzels even tortilla chips into left over pockets. Stack and pile in more crackers then you think because they will go fast. Keep the cracker box at an arm's length because even if the cheese is gone, the snacking doesn't have to be! Other great options for crunchy snacks:
Water crackers, Ritz or buttery crackers, saltines, pretzels, pita bread, tortilla chips, gluten-free crackers, variety pack crackers, toasted baguette slices, pretzel rods, naan
Step 7. BLANK SPACES
After the crackers, there will be a few small space to fill. This is where nuts, dried fruit and greens come in. I used wasabi flavored almonds for a slight kick, dried figs (sliced) and arugula. Add the greens mostly for a colorful look and fill empty board. Take a step back, maybe add some more crackers or fruit and you should be good to go. Other great fill options:
Candied walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, dried fruit, dark chocolate, rosemary other herb springs, spinach or other colorful greens
Put out your favorite bottle of wine, or two and Voilà! You're done, let the snacking begin.
Links to our favorite cheese board and cheese knifes: