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Cheese platter ideas?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any suggestions for a good cheese platter that looks impressive but doesn't seem stuffy or pretentious? I'd like to serve some higher end cheese to some friends who aren't exactly foodies so I'm looking for some good ideas.

I'm thinking maybe some really high end cheese like an etoriki or something and then throwing something like a slim jim onto the plate to make it accessible. Maybe that's not the best idea but something along those lines - combining high brow with everyday to introduce people to really good cheeses they haven't tried before.

Any suggestions??? Thanks! :lips:
post #2 of 16

cheese plates

Hi, you can use any kind of cheese I always make 2 and they are different using different crackers, meats from the deli and fruit, as well with condiments. You can also complement the cheeses with wine.

When there is good food and great friends always means a great time.;)
post #3 of 16
Cheese platters don't have to be stuffy, in fact to me they seem super accessible because they're usually self-serve. The must haves of a good cheese selection include a decent brie, a hard salty cheese like parmesan or asiago, a nice mild cheese like gouda or havarti, a blue cheese, and a soft goat cheese. That's what I go for anyway. Don't forget the wine, otherwise what's the point :beer:.

Serve the cheeses whole with a cheese knife near them so people can help themselves. To help balance out the cheese you'll want a couple of different kinds of crackers or bread, some olives, some nuts, some pears or grapes, and even a nice salami or other deli meats if you're adventurous. Leave those in bowls and platters, you'll see that serving cheese is just like a grown up version of chips and popcorn.

Whatever you do, please don't serve slim jims.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

thanks - what about wine? and check these out...

Thanks for the repiles! The fruits are a great idea I hadn't thought of.

I found a cheese platter contest on this french cheese site: iledefrancecheese.com

what do you guys think of these? Some of them are OK - not sure I'll be getting as advanced as some of these.

As for wine, what are the general rules (most obvious) for serving wine and cheese? I'm not a big wine drinking, but "grown up" parties seem to require wine and I should probably start appreciating it!
post #5 of 16
Look up a local winery,check when they do wine tasting and you can find one you like. This is the thing about "cooking" every plate is a new canvas.
post #6 of 16
How young are you? You must be pretty young to think that wine and cheese is a grown up thing. I'm starting to feel kinda old with you saying that but I remember liking wine and cheese even before I was in college (parents never forbid wine to us, it's a cultural thing).

I'm not a big wine connoisseur or anything. If you don't know much about wines go to your local liquor store and ask someone who knows a little about wine. Ask them what wines are best to serve with cheese and offer both a white and a red. My personal preference is to drink chianti but lots of people I know like to drink white wine with cheese. The possibilities are endless.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 16
See if you can find some good stick pepperonni And see if you can buy champagne grape clusters. dip them in egg white then sugar let dry ,they make a fantastic addition to cheese tray as do strawberry and miniature pears.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 16
While champagne grapes are a wonderful additon, frosted the way Ed suggests, don't sweat it if you can't find them. Any seedless grapes, white or red, work that way, and make an impressive addition to the tray.

Unlike many others, though, I'm not big on the idea of any sort of sausages or salamis on a platter in which the cheese, itself, is the star. The strong tastes of the meat tend to overpower the cheeses, IMO. So, were it me, I'd confine myself to a selection of cheeses, crackers, and fruits---with grapes, pears, and figs predominating.

Don't forget, too, that cheeses are at their best at room temperature. So take them out of the fridge at least an hour before serving.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 16
You could get really fancy and serve a hunk of Brie cheese drizzled with honey, little brandy and walnuts or pecans.
post #10 of 16
Let the cheese speak for itself. Keep your accompaniments separate, your breads and crackers plain and your honey in a small jar or ramekin. (Not everybody likes it.)
post #11 of 16
Anneke you are so right ! Food allergies, sometime is better to keep things separate.
Alxny,
It is your party your do what you like. If your guest say it looks awesome or wow, and the next day what a great party then all the stress and feeling like you are never going to get all done was worth it. ;)
post #12 of 16
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #13 of 16
One man's high end is another man's accessible, even low brow.
Many peasant foods have become upscale dishes.
I think cheeses were the same. Shepherds made cheese, nice, stinky cheese, like nice, stinky sheep. But sheep cheese is pretty high end now. I think the famous Lardo di Colonnata was the same, what marble cutters or something brought a piece of with their half a loaf of bread for lunch.

Anyway, i have a recipe for a nice walnut bread that goes wonderfully with cheese. It;s a "quick bread" and slightly sweet, and a wonderful foil for cheeses. Bake the day before. Slice thinly.

from Barbara Maher's book Cakes, Penguin, 1982 p 188-9 (I highly recommend this book by the way - her sachertorte, tarte tatin and her dobostorte are the very best. She has another book too, (Ultimate Cake), slicker with lots of nice pictures, but the recipes are not as good
I will quote the whole thing:
walnut bread
Walnuts seem to be especially successful in cake-breads; and buttered walnut bread and coffee complement each other very well. Recently this speciality of the Rhine valley has become very popular in France, where it is served in restaurants at the end of the meal - the blend of dark sugar, spices and nuts has proved to be an excellent foil for cheeses, especially the goats' milk variety.
{I'll give you the cup measures too, though she uses grams}

500 gm plain flour (3 1/2 cups all purpose flour)
250 gms molasses sugar (1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 crushed cloves (about 1/4 tsp ground)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150 gms walnuts (halves or quarters) (5 oz)
2 eggs
350-400 ml milk (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup)
sultanas (optional) (a handful of raisins - optional but good)

gas 4 180degrees C, 350 degrees F/ 1 hour

Sift together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt. stir in the nuts
Lightly beat the eggs and blend into the mixture, adding enough milk to form a strong elastic paste.
Add a handful of raisins (sultanas)
Grease a 1 kg (2 lb) loaf tin (regular bread pan is fine), pour in the bread mixture and bake.
(One hour more or less, test with skewer )
Cool on a wire rack, cut in slices to serve.


P.S., i already posted this on the other cooking forum we both frequent - both of us under different pen names! :)
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 16
I'm on this recipe!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #15 of 16
You don't need to have numerous cheeses.....one ripe cheese is enough. Serve with fresh fruit (apples are in season now, ditto grapes, ditto pears) and bread (crackers etc)

I'm with KY, 9.5x out of 10 I don't have meat with the cheese plate.

Most good cheese shops or high end grocery stores with super cheese selections will let you sample prior to buying.
Whole Foods is super about it. Most shops with someone behind the counter cutting cheese....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #16 of 16
Meat are not necessary you're right, and if I lay out a cheese platter as the appetizer then I leave the meats out. But if I'm having just a wine and cheese get together I add meats and other things to make it more substantial. I like the combined the flavors anyway.

I never understood the whole idea of flavorless crackers. I'm not put off by combining the flavors of cheeses and crackers, it's actually quite fun to sit and experiment with different combinations. For example I recently served a cracker that was made with garlic and rosemary - it was not too good when paired with asiago and brie! But it was pure perfection when paired with gorgonzola! I like buttery crackers, cheesy crackers, bagel chips, pita chips, triscuits, wheat thins, melba toast or sesame sticks. The only thing I won't touch is those tasteless wheat sawdust crackers that everyone swears should be served with cheese.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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