This is a great universal appetizer that is a huge crowd pleaser. They can be made in so many ways to cater to whatever kind of function you are having, from a intimate evening watching a movie with your loved ones, to a huge wedding or anything in between. You can also make it simple using very tame meats, cheeses and crackers for kids or more exotic for your foodie friends.
Choose at least three different cheeses, and at least 2 meats. For a mid range platter try slicing a stick of pepperoni and a stick of summer sausage. Cube up some orange cheddar, some monterey jack, and some colby jack cheeses. All of these are mild enough for the average person. Then add some Carrs crackers and your all set.
For a kid approved tray try using regular lunch meat ham and turkey and using a small circle cookie cutter, cut them into cracker sized circles. Or if you don’t have a circle cookie cutter, just cut the slices into little squares. It is easiest to cut the lunch meat in stacks. You could even layer the stacks ham, turkey, ham, turkey, etc, and cut large stacks no more than an inch square (or round) and stick a fun toothpick inside instead of separating them. Add some mild orange cheddar, some colby jack, and a mild white cheddar. Add some ritz crackers and your all set. It makes a great after schools snack especially for a play date. It can also be a much healthier, and cheaper alternative to lunchables for a kids lunchbox. Not too mention you can help expand your childs pallet from the typical processed American cheese and sodium filled ham that is packed with preservatives.
And for the foodies, your options are endless. Try some prosciutto, soppressata and salami. Add a soft cheese like a nice wedge of blue cheese, or my favorite, a brie. Add a nice aged cheddar, and another exotic cheese like a smoked mozzarella or a sheep’s milk cheese. The last two have been my favorites lately. I didn’t use to be a fan of exotic or sharp tasting cheeses but I am learning to love some of the stronger cheeses as I try them. The smoked mozzarella we ordered at a little restaurant near Las Olas called Rice and Dough. It has a unique Asian Italian mixed menu. Think sushi and a side of meatballs. Something for everyone. I am still planning to go back and try their sushi that I didn’t get to try last time we visited. You can visit their Facebook page below.
I have tried several smoked mozzarella’s since then and have yet to find one as good. They tend to vary greatly. Some are your more typical soft stringy texture of mozzarella, but the one I loved was much firmer. Add some of the flavored Carrs crackers like the cracked pepper or sesame seed crackers, and if you want to get a little fancier try buying from the bakery (or making) a loaf of bread, spraying or wiping some olive oil all over it, sprinkling some of my favorite seasoning from the melting pot, their garlic and wine seasoning and throwing it in the oven on 350 degrees for 1bout 10 minutes or until its nice and warm and the crust is a little crispy. Tear some off into pieces and place on your platter to serve with the meats and cheeses. Pair with your favorite Cabernet wine and your all set. Don’t forget to get a unique apron to wear like our fun tuxedo apron pictured above to add a whimsical elegant flair
Add some fresh fruit and veggies and you have yourself a meal.