Spanish Style Charcuterie

So once was in a stage that felt needed to learn how to make a nice charcuterie.  I'm in a business that you have to know your cheeses and at one time was in the business that produced the most amazing meats for charcuterie's.  Other than the fact I could eat cheese and know what would stay away from a 2nd time or that when dining in Pueblo Colorado, you always have blue cheese crumbles with your Italian vinaigrette on a salad... I knew nothing.

Then Patricia Heaton came on one day on her series on the Food Network... the "Staycation" Spain inspired Charcuterie because as Patricia stated, "I am worth it and so are you!" with a stern look.  I was hell bent on recreating what she made look so simple to do.  I CAN DOOOO THIS!

  • Champagne and Wine, white or red your choice or a Sangria you can just add your fruit to.
  • Fresh stone fruits or whatever fruits are in season.  I went with apples and pears as did this pre winter.
  • 3 cheeses.  Manchego, a blue, and a herbed goat cheese for the stuffed piquillos.  If I had guests joining me I would have purchased more cheese but it was just me trying it out.
  • Marcona Almonds
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Fresh Figs, if available
  • Piquillo peppers you can usually find in a jar.
  • Phyllo dough.
  • SPANISH CHORIZO, not that raw Mexican link stuff..  Spanish that is pre cooked or like a salami will only do.
  • Crackers.  I utilized Kookra's which are locally made and delicious with nuts and dried fruits in them.  Hence use what you want, just make sure it is a good sturdy cracker.
  • Olive oil.
  • Fresh herbs, Italian parsley is good.
  • Olives, caper berries, whatever floats your boat.
  • Smoked Paprika optional.  

Ok I am not trying to be lazy here but here is the link to the actual recipes by Patricia Heaton   Now depending where you are in the world you may or may not have access to each ingredient.  Suit it up to your style, availability as remember recipes are just thought waker uppers for you to make your own.  Examples of my differences below.  This experiment was for me to try out as my husband was at a conference that eve anyway.  
  • I cheated on the Sangria and bought a pre made Sangria which, eh, go the distance and utilize champagne and wine.  I would never do a pre made Sangria again.  Homemade is much better. 
  • Marcona almonds toasted with smoked paprika.  I really preferred them just as is.  They are delicious and too expensive to muck up with other ingredients.  
  • I only utilized two cheeses because it was just me.  But end of day if you are not hosting over a handful of people, utilize what you think YOU WILL LIKE!
  • Patricia's recipes mixes fresh herbs with her goat cheese to stuff the piquillos, but again I just bought a herbed goat cheese by Laura Chenel.
  • Those piquillos were not as easy to stuff as they are delicate so make sure you drain them well or going to have a mess.  
  • Olives, you either love or hate them, but get what you like from the brined or pickled end to compliment your board.
  • Oh I believe Patricia used a puff pastry but what we had at work was Phyllo and went that route.  Turned out delicious!  

So I definitely got the gist of a charcuterie and much better these days putting them together as you explore and experiment with different items from your local cheese market or what is in your grocery store.  Real deal butchers European/German butchers are also great sources of meats to go on charcuteries as well the cheeses.  Explore, try and master to what you like!  

Remember Life Is Too Short To Eat Badly!!


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