Make Cheese Plates Your Masterpiece
A good cheese plate is more than just a snacking board: it’s a reason to gather, a conversation-starter, a masterpiece. Knowing how to build a ravishing platter is an important skill for any cheese slut to master. And it’s a lot easier to put together an impressive spread than you think. Here’s how to build a cheese plate in 6 simple steps.
Spruce Up That Cheese Plate
Ain’t nothing sexier than a woodsy, spoonable, bark-wrapped cheese, especially on a crisp autumn evening. These guys originated in the Alps, where, once fall hits, dairy cows switch their diet from fresh grasses to hay, which makes their milk much richer. When you turn that rich milk into cheese, it tends to get so soft and runny that the wheels fall apart. To keep them intact, farmers wrap them in a strip of spruce bark—which also lends a sweet, piney quality to the cheese, kind of like what happens to whiskey in an oak barrel.
There are tons of different spruce-wrapped cheeses to try, from European classics like Vacherin Mont d’Or and Forsterkäse, to American varieties like Rush Creek Reserve or this Greensward here. Each of these, of course, has its own unique flavors, but almost all share hints of bacon and a cozy aroma of pinecones. Whichever variety you choose, the best way to indulge in this orgasmic flavorgy is by taking her top off and diving straight into her custardy center.
Here’s how to serve spruce-wrapped cheese in three simple steps.
The Marilyn Monroe of Mozzarella
burrata has summer lovin’ written all over her.
Simply a ball of mozzarella stuffed with cream-soaked mozzarella shreds,
she’s so voluptuous that her name means “buttered” in Italian.
**Only Eats Healthy Food If It’s Blanketed With Cheese**
January is not an ideal time to go on a diet. It’s cold AF outside, and all I want to do is comfort myself with melted cheese and carbs. I definitely do not want a kale salad or a quinoa stirfry. I want some hot, gooey lasagna and I want it now. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Just cause you’re trying to eat healthier doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the sensual joys of food. Cheese makes eating healthy so much more enjoyable. Besides, cheese is a superfood too.
Cheesy loaded sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to eat in the wintertime. Blankets of melty cheese smothering hot, velvety orange flesh–it’s almost too seductive to be healthy. You can stuff them with anything your heart desires, too. Here are a few of my favorite flavor combinations.
Poppin’ Bottles, Cuttin’ Cheese
Worth Getting Called “Basic” For
Before you close that tab, hear me out.
Pumpkin spice flavorings are overdone and obnoxious.
But there’s a reason why the PSL got popular so quickly:
it’s warm, nostalgic, and so tasty.
Don’t blame pumpkin spice for what
overzealous marketers have done to it.
Yield to the sweet, spicy seduction of a
pumpkin spice latte goat cheese truffle.
I would like it explained to me in writing
what’s so great about apple butter.
– Tina Fey, Bossypants
I’ve been searching for the answer to this ever since
I first read Tina’s memoire, Bossypants.
Surely, it’s not as good as real butter. Nothing is.
It’s basically just grown up apple sauce. What’s the point?
It wasn’t until I first smeared a small chunk of cheddar
with the stuff that I discovered the answer.
So here you go, Tina: apple butter, which is result of boiling
the souls of many apples with harvest spices, is fantastic with cheese.
The soft, velvety texture cloaks your palate in sweet, spicy autumnal flavors,
cradling all hunks of cheese from creamy and funky to salty and crumbly.
A good apple butter will truly enhance nearly any cheese,
like the accoutrement version of a sexy halloween costume.
I recommend making it yourself. It’s pretty easy and you can choose your own spices.
Here are a couple of my favorite pairings
to tease you before you go play yourself.
Working on that Winter Pasta Bod
I’ve found my new favorite pasta sauce.
It’s easy to make and rich with creamy goat cheese,
and sings with all the flavors of fall.
Its bright dill flavors play off of roasted acorn squash,
buttery leeks, and a squirt of lemon juice.
It’s. So. Good.
It’s Melted Cheese Season
It’s officially fall and we’re all ready to comfort ourselves with a couple blankets of stretchy melted cheese.
Unfortunately it’s still 90°F here in the midwest. Not exactly French onion soup weather.
We need something to help us ease into the season,
while the weather catches up to the fall feels.
Goat cheese keeps a grilled cheese light, especially with a swipe of tangy tapenade.
There’s also enough garlic to slay vampires through 2018.