This was our first Christmas spent away from family, so I tried to incorporate as many traditions as I could, while also starting our own traditions! Something my parents would always do is create a charcuterie board with asiago, salami, sliced baguette and balsamic reduction; it’s a Nikulka staple! This year I decided to create our own version of a charcuterie board, using our favourites while also trying some new foods! It worked great for Christmas Eve, but it would also be perfect for a New Years Eve get together! Let’s be honest, charcuterie boards are perfect for everyday.
Cheese was the easiest and the hardest to choose. It was easy because I love cheese….I had a long list of cheeses that would fill up the board all by itself, so it was hard to narrow it down. I landed on three options that we all love. We started out simple with old cheddar, then amped it up with some smoked gouda and finished it up with the belle of the ball; herb and garlic Boursin.
Only one of the two people enjoying the charcuterie board eats meat, so I just decided to choose one, and it was requested to be a spicy meat. I found a spanish style dried cured salami, which is a perfect option! It offers spice and salt which contrasts nicely against all three of the creamy cheeses.
There are a lot of different cracker options to go with for a charcuterie board. I started simple with a thin cracked black pepper crisp that is easy and tasty enough to go with any combo! I also wanted to grab something that had a little more holiday flair, so I grabbed some cranberry and hazelnut crackers which I liked WAY more than I thought I would. I’m a hardcore Triscuit girl so these were a little adventurous for me, but these are honestly one of my new faves! Another option I wanted to go with was a sliced baguette but I didn’t want to overdo it on the starch, so we’ll save that idea for the next board!
We now have all of the most important aspects of the board: cheese, meat and crackers. This is the time for you to really get creative with your last options. Another important aspect for some is something pickled. I was going back and forth with the idea of straight up pickles, or maybe some roasted red peppers. I then found feta stuffed jalapeños at Safeway and I just had to try them (spoiler alert: they were good, but they weren’t our fav so we’ll try a different pickled option next time). The classic Nikulka charcuterie always has a red pepper jelly by it’s side so I wanted to make sure I included something like that! I found an apricot and chili spread which sounds like the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. It wasn’t as spicy as the red pepper jelly that I was used to, but still super yummy!
Charcuterie boards are the perfect thing to really show your creative side in the kitchen. There are so many directions you can go in, and it can really represent what mood you’re in when creating this platter! Since this was around the holidays we chose some foods that tasted like, looked like, or just reminded us of this season. We even grabbed some rosemary sprigs and dried cranberries to give it that extra holiday look!
We hope you had a great holiday, and here’s to a happy new year!
What are some of your favourite things to include in a charcuterie board?