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Posts tagged as “party appetizer”

Six steps to get started crafting a perfect cheeseboard

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I am a sucker for a good cheese plate.

Cheese is one of the few foods that even after all of these years I still feel would stop me from going 100% vegan. Meat, I can take or leave. As some of you know, I didn't eat meat for a decade or longer and still don't eat a lot of it today. But cheese? Vegan cheese is ok, I happen to like nut-based cheese, but it's just different... #TrueStory

A cheese plate is, of course, excellent as an appetizer, but as I learned recently it can also be nice to have after dinner instead of a dessert. I was used to seeing after-dinner cheese courses here in the U.S. on fancy or trendy restaurant menus, but in France, cheese was on nearly all restaurant menus—talk about heaven! A cheese plate can also be a nice choice to have as a leisurely lunch or dinner, especially when there's little time to cook. No matter the course, a cheese plate is never a bad choice.

Not sure where to start in building the cheese plate of your dreams? Let's begin with a few of the basics. Here are six things that I like to keep in mind when crafting the perfect plate.

Devils on Horseback

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Also known as stuffed dates, these are a great addition to your tapas board or as a quick and simple appetizer with cocktails before a meal. They're salty, sweet, and incredibly addictive... impossible to eat just one! This recipe makes a dozen but it's foolproof: scale it to make as many as you'd like.

If blue cheese typically isn't your jam, a creamy gorgonzola is a good choice that is a little milder. If you love blue cheese as much as I do, St. Agur is fantastic, probably one of my favorite blue cheeses to both use in recipes as well as just eat by itself with some crackers, since it's so damn delicious. It's also made with vegetarian-based rennet.

Smoked Salmon Bites

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The good news: all of the "cooking" involved here for this easy appetizer is the preparation of the herb cream cheese spread—and that's easy, too. Make it in advance so it's ready to go when it's time for appetizers. When you're ready to serve, set the cream cheese out in a fancy bowl with a platter of smoked salmon, thinly-sliced red onion and other goodness, and bagel chips, then dig in. I've made this for brunch, too, as a starter to go with Bloody Marys or mimosas before a main course, like waffles or omelettes.