The peninsula, filled with the history of those who once took steps in Charleston, South Carolina gracefully tapped into my imagination. The sun combined with the faint smell of salt lingering within the Charleston Harbor gave me a sense of comfort, of genuine gaiety. A place that felt welcome, a place where the cobble stone roads would bring a type of unfamiliar nostalgia into my soul.
As I walked these streets, my curiosity grew for these platters friends and family would share over a glass of wine. The Holy City holding onto the tradition of curing meats and pickling, to preserve a part of history that we would indulge from the city’s European influence. As a student in this city, I learned amongst Chefs who have filled their peculiar time through the streets of France, Italy, and Spain. Chefs that would draw out the wanderment of a life so pure, a place with the soft kindness of strangers, of people who loved good food simple, and a few years later, the traces of my existence would tread through Europe. The longer I stayed, the more I fell in love with the enjoyment of food through the sense of community.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
|Prep Time: 30 Minutes||Cooking Time: None|
|Total Time: 40 Minutes||Yield: Serves 4 People|
Charcuterie: Cooked Meat; As the Roman Empire endured their long journeys with the lack of refrigeration to France in the middle ages, the preservation of food thrived, including curing various cuts of meats and animals with salt, brine, and smoke. Throughout history, charcuterie made an appearance in several European countries, including Italy.
Antipasto: A classic first course in Italy to awaken the palate with cured meats, preserved or fresh fruits and vegetables; including anchovies and cheese. Though, I enjoy these boards as a meal shared with good company, accompanied by a delicious glass of wine.. or five.
On My Board: I personally enjoy a huge variety of flavors and textures.
- Fruit | Nuts
- Vegetables | Pickles
- Condiments | Spreads
- Bread and Crackers
Meat: 2 or 3 Types, 2 or 3 ounces each
Forcemeats: A combination of meat and fat ground, sieved, or pureed with emulsifiers such as bread, eggs, herbs, and spices to a uniform mixture.
- Pate/Terrines: Country Pate, Pate de Foie Gras, Pate Chaud, Pate en Croute, Pate Henaff, Pate Maison, Pate Forestiere, and Pate Lorraine.
- Mousseline: A meat paste combined with eggs and cream, which then gets moulded. Airy and light.
- Rilletes: Seasoned meat slow cooked in it’s fat, shredded, and sealed with remaining fat. I prefer pork or duck.
- Head Cheese: A meat jelly oftentimes derived from the head of a calve, pig, or sheep, which then gets set in a flavored aspic.
Sausages: A mixture of ground meat, seasonings, herbs, and optional fillers, often times stuffed into a casing or shaped into patties.
- Fresh: Italian, Bratwurst, Mexican Chorizo
- Smoked: Kielbasa, Andouille
- Cured: Salami, Spanish Chorizo, Saucisson, Soppressata Toscana
Cured Whole Cuts: A whole muscle of the animal being cured and aged.
- Jambon de Bayonne
- Prosciutto Di Parma
- Jamon Iberico or Serrano
Cheese: 3 Types, 2 or 4 ounces each
Animal Varieties: Along with the soft/hardness of cheeses to choose from, the milk derived from cows (mild in flavor, versatile), goats (sweet, acidic, and tangy), sheep (buttery, rich, nutty, and gamey), and buffalo (creamy, tangy) are equally important to create a nice variety on your board, as well as temperature. Allow cheese to rest in room temperature for the best result in flavor.
- Soft: Brie, Chevre, Camembert, Chaource, Humboldt Fog, Saint Andre, Buchette, Limburger, Neufchatel
- Semi-soft: Stilton, Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Muenster, Taleggio, Havarti
- Semi-hard: Cascaval, Emmental, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere,
- Hard: Grana Padano, Asiago, Parmasean, Manchego, Pecorino
Fruit and Nuts: 1 or 2 of each
- Fruit: Figs, Grapes, Tart Apples, Berries, Dried fruit, Dates, Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Nuts: Salted and Roasted Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Pecans
Vegetables and Pickles: 1 of each
- Vegetables: Grilled Artichokes, Red Peppers, and Eggplant, Roasted Carrots or Beets, Watercress, Sliced Radish
- Pickled/Jarred Vegetables: Olives, Pickled Shallots, Cornichons, Pickled Sweet Peppers, Pickled Red Onion, Marinated Artichokes, garlic, or Piquillo Peppers, Pickled Beets
Condiments and Spreads: Choose 2 or 3
- Mustard: Dijon or Whole Grain
- Honey: Honey comb, Creamed Honey, Raw Honey
- Olive Tapenade
- Olive oil
- Balsamic Reduction
- Roasted Garlic Spread
- Pesto: Basil or Sun Dried Tomato
Bread and Crackers: Choose 2 or 3
- Pain de Campagne
- Grilled Flatbread
- Twisted Bread Stick Crackers
How to set up your board
- Oil wooden board or polish platters. (If you want, you can also put down parchment paper before you start building.)
- Use bowls or ramekins for height. (You can use these for condiments, marinated vegetables, spreads, and dips.)
- Arrange meat around large items (bowls). You can roll, fan, or fold your charcuterie. Slice pates, drizzle a little olive oil, and top with a sprinkle of finishing salt.
- Slice or crumble cheese. With the smaller soft cheeses, you can leave whole and gently warm them in the oven.
- Add fruits, veggies, and nuts sporadically through out the board.
- Place bread and crackers through out your spread.
*I like to ensure a variety of colors, textures, and a mix of sweet, sour, and salty on my board. It’s important to have fun with it, move ingredients around, and allow them to overlap: It doesn’t have to be neatly separated and placed on one side of the board.
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