Cookery writer Maria recommends the use of an accompaniment to ‘balance the flavours’ of your charcuterie board…
The pickles can be made ahead and stored in their brine in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Boards, Platters, Plates the latest book from US-based cookery writer Maria Zizka is a visual feast. Presentation is king for her ideas for Recipes for Entertaining, Sharing and Snacking. Without a doubt - sharing is the most important aspect.
Thirty boards are included ranging from starters to platters for cocktail parties and finishing with six suggestions for sweet platters. While they have a US influence rest assured, the recipes offer measurements in cups, metric and imperial, useful for all-comers.
There may be only two boards with charcuterie as the key ingredient, but Maria does give an insight into what makes a good board. She believes there are no rules but rather it’s a process that should be fun to create and eat.
Every arrangement should tell a story - of the seasons or maybe, how the meats were made - whether smoked, air-dried or salted. The art of arranging focuses on creating a theme whether of colours or textures or techniques.
One useful and very practical tip is to consider how people will eat the various ingredients, so small knives, spoons and even little bowls for discarded olive stones should be added.
Another is to Balance the Flavours. So having chosen your meats, she says you must balance them with crackers, a crunchy, tangy, pickled ingredient such as whole caper berries or her Quick Pickles, a wholegrain mustard and even something “unexpected” - Green Almonds anybody?
Enjoy re-creating Maria’s Hoagie Bar - it’s make-your-own sandwiches on a grand scale and, as with all her boards, the presentation is superb. May it inspire to follow her and who knows – even to experiment and mix and match yourself.
Credit: Excerpted from Boards, Platters, Plates by Maria Zizka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Erin Scott.
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