With many of our restaurants being shut down, going out for a special Valentin's Day dinner may be difficult. There is always take-out, but it is never as good reheated. Cooking a fancy meal is time-consuming and the clean up isn't that much fun. So, this year we are making a charcuterie board.
Charcuterie (pronounced "shahr-ku-tuh-ree") is the art of preparing and assembling cured meat and meat products. The word, originated in France, means pork butcher shop. The term has evolved to include other types of food. So now a charcuterie board is an assortment of meats, cheeses, artisan breads, olives, fruit, and nuts, all artfully arranged on a serving board.
With a little bit of planning, you can have a wonderful meal with little to no cooking. It can be made ahead so you'll have plenty of time to get all dolled up for your special someone. It's perfect for a romantic candlelight dinner or snacking throughout a romantic movie night.
How to make it
- Choose a board or tray. This can be round or a long rectangle. Most charcuterie boards are wood and prices vary. But you don't need to run out and buy something for this. A large serving tray or platter will work just fine.
- Find a few small containers for condiments or dips.
- Decide on what to serve. Your tray can include meats, cheeses, crackers or bread, dips, fruit, nuts, cookies, and candies. The only requirement is that it can be served cold and it is something that you and your sweetie like to eat.
- Artfully arrange food onto the tray, and cover with plastic wrap. This can be done up to a day in advance, except for the crackers or bread. When it is time to serve, unwrap and add crackers and bread.
Ideas for your board:
If you google charcuterie board, you will get lots of ideas. Pinterest has some great pictures too. My favorite was a Shrimp cocktail board. You can even do one just for deserts. How much you put on your board will depend on your appetites and how many people you are serving. For Valentine's day, go with red and white foods, like strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, and white cheeses.
The secret to success is planning ahead and having everything you need ready to assemble your tray. Here is what ours looked like.
What are you doing for Valentine's Day?