Whether hosting a sit-down dinner or having a few friends over for drinks, having a Cheese and Charcuterie Board ready when your guests arrive is a quick, no-cook way to get the party started. The key is to have a good selection of cheeses, meats, and accompaniments so your guests can try a little bit of everything, and perhaps, even discover a new cheese or cured meat.
The dizzying array of great cheeses and charcuterie available can be overwhelming, so I’ve pulled together a few tips on how to assemble your own board, including suggestions on how to select the cheeses and meats, how much to serve, and what accompaniments to serve. I’ve also included a few cheese and meat combinations for you to try like the Spanish-themed Cheese and Charcuterie Board pictured above, featuring Manchego cheese, dry chorizo, and marcona almonds.
Follow me to A Lucky Life blog now to read the rest of this article and get my tips on assembling this no-cook appetizer.
When there’s a chill in the air, we head to the kitchen to whip up something comforting and toasty to help keep us warm. What could be better than a grilled cheese sandwich?
For years . . . the traditional grilled cheese sandwich has been a simple, tasty treat. These days however, with the popularity of cooking shows and celebrity chefs, it has undergone a gourmet makeover! No longer limited to American or cheddar cheese melted on white bread . . . the modern grilled cheese features artisanal cheeses, fresh breads, specialty spreads and preserves, and fresh fruits and produce. While I welcome these refinements, some things must not change……
the cheese has to be ooey, gooey and the sandwich has to be eaten with a bowl of creamy tomato soup!
I was first introduced to gnocchi about ten years ago at Salumi, a tiny storefront and deli in Seattle owned by Armandino Batali, Mario’s dad. Salumi sells sandwiches filled with artisanal cured meats made in-house and other Italian foods. Once a week, at a counter in a small nook at the front window, Izzy, Armandino’s older sister, made gnocchi from scratch. She made it look so easy. I would watch in fascination as her weathered hands deftly shaped the little dumplings. She would roll the perfect pieces of dough effortlessly on a gnocchi paddle and flick them right into a sheet pan a few hundred or, maybe, a thousand, times a day. She stood there, mostly silent, yet always smiling, for she knew the secret of making light and tender pillows made of potatoes and flour. Continue reading →
On a trip to San Francisco a couple of years back, we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Postrio, located in the Prescott Hotel in Union Square. We sat at the bar and ordered two of Puck’s wood-fired pizzas – the Smoked Salmon with dill and crème frâiche and the Prosciutto & Figs with balsamic, mascarpone cheese, and truffle oil. The Smoked Salmon quickly became his signature pizza when he opened the original Spago’s in 1982. It was a huge hit with the Hollywood crowd who couldn’t get enough of the smoked salmon topped with caviar. Although Postrio’s version omitted the pricey roe, it was still a great pizza. However, what stole the show was the other pizza we ordered, the Prosciutto and Figs. This is still one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. I mean, who wouldn’t love this?! Just imagine it – chewy pizza dough with a base of mascarpone cheese covered with a generous amount of prosciutto and arugula drizzled with a balsamic glaze and truffle oil. Right after inhaling that pizza, while still sitting there at the bar, I wrote all the ingredients so we could try replicate it as best we can when we got home. Continue reading →