Cheese Platters

Cheese and Fruit platters are great for entertaining. They’re easy… look pretty… and provide a lot of food for a lot of people…since cubes are small… a great menu stretcher.

They can be prepped ahead and then set out just before the party starts. I cube my cheeses and sausage ahead of time…usually the day before… and store them in zip loc bags in the fridge … I make my spreads the day before too ….spreads go in airtight containers in the fridge… I also label them … just so I know what I have ..

While cheese can be expensive… believe it or not… it actually works out cheaper…. Cubed cheese goes a long way and makes a great presentation.

1. Not all cheese is expensive.. . so if you include an expensive cheese then add others that are not expensive.

2. Think about the flavors of your cheeses… make sure you mix it up a bit to keep it interesting….I like to include an herb or garlic cheese, a spicy cheese such Pepper Jack and at least one or two relatively plain or common cheeses… Monterey Jack, Swiss, Cheddar, and Provolone are all good candidates…. keep in mind colors also… it will make for a great presentation.

3. Include fruit… fruit goes so well with cheese...grapes are perfect….apple and pear slices are great too… slice them thin and brush with a little citrus juice to keep them from discoloring.

4. Try to include a spread… you can make a cream cheese spread inexpensively and quickly… see my recipes under the label “Dips and Spreads”.

5. I like to add a meat… summer sausage cut up into little cubes… slices of pepperoni…very quick and easy.

And finally, I like to include a soft cheese… such as Brie… I usually make it what I call my “Presentation Cheese”… something to WOW my guests because it can look so pretty…. You can bake Brie with a pastry shell or top with melted topping such as a fruit ….Raspberry is always a good choice… just use an “all fruit” like Polaner.

Don’t forget the crackers… I put out a basket usually with a couple of different types… again… I include plain and flavored… Triscuit has come out with terrific flavors that you may want to consider…and make sure you put out sturdy crackers if your cheeses are thick… otherwise the crackers can break while your guests are spreading the cheese.

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