Special Edition: SUPERBOWL 53
Because what’s football without FOOD????
Ok, so seriously friends. We can yell and high five with the best of them, but we alllllll know what is the real motivator of this game… the FOOD. My favorite meal in the world is one composed of chips and dips and little yummy bites of cheese and crackers and STRETCHY PANTS. So to go along with the game, I am going to share my no-fail appetizer favorite.
I, Courtney, am known in my circle for my charcuterie boards. It’s something I take great pride in (ha!) and I like to build really beautiful and tasty ones! Lots of flavors and textures! I’ll share my tricks:
Start with a big beautiful wooden board. You are building from the inside out.
In the middle of your board put your main staple. Is it fondue? IF so, put it in a small cast iron bowl (Target has great ones in the Chrissy Teigan collection) My main staple is usually boars head kielbasa. I cut the kielbasa into small pieces and brown it in a skillet with a little bbq rub on it. Then I will put in a small piece of pottery and add it to the center of my board.
From there I work my way out. Fruit: Lay an entire bunch of grapes right around your pottery, even if they are hanging off the board. Leave them on the stems. Adds texture to your board. Strawberries are a great add too. The colors pop. I always leave the tops on and stack them opposite of the grapes.
Cheeses: I do at LEAST 3 cheeses, sometimes more. Remember, everyone has a different palate so you need a variety.
1) The Classic Cheddar: Boars Head makes an excellent smoked Cheddar that is always a hit. 2) A soft cheese: GOAT. Delicious, a crowd favorite 3) Manchego is always safe, and is a pretty color. 4) the BONUS cheese: DO something fun here. Like a raspberry stilton or a red wine gouda… a variety cheese. Keeps the guests on their toes. And a side note on blocked cheeses. Always cut pieces off to start with, and have your cheese knives (get some at target or amazon) readily available for people to help themselves. (I don’t know why people are intimidated by whole blocks of cheese? But they are). Place the cheeses around the board, two on one side and two on the other.
Olives and Pickles/jalepenos: These are extras and add pretty color to your board. Get Kalamata olives and put in a small pottery dish to the side of your board. (drain them first). Pickle spears or gherkins always look great laying ON THE BOARD. Jalepenos need to be drained and need their own bowl also. Have toothpicks in a small shot glass beside the olives and jalepenos.
Spreads: okay, to have a spread on a cheese board is KINDA like the bow on the present. Honey. Fig Spread. Hot Raspberry Jam over a block of cream cheese… all divine. All extra. All boujie. Kroger has them all. Serve in their jars or pretty ramekins with jam spoons.
You know what can ruin a beautiful cheeseboard? JUNKY CRACKERS. So please. PLEASE do this right. Even if it means getting the variety pack of Toasteds. Do a plain round cracker. Like a Ritz, or a butter round. These hold the kielbasa nicely and you can add cheese to them without them crumbling. Then do a seasoned cracker: A nut thin, a roasted red pepper variety, an herb cracker. And lastly do a BONUS cracker. One with a nut or berry in it; or a pumpernickel toast. I personally recommend the RainCoat Crisps brand. Kroger, Trader Joes and Whole Foods usually has them. Stack. yes STACK the crackers on top of each other by variety and fill in the holes with them.
Step back and admire your work. You did it. You won the appetizer bowl. Now fix a plate!