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DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter

A DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter that will make your guests go “WOW!” is a lot easier to assemble than you might think.

Denise Landis

Denise Landis is the founder & CEO of The Cook's Cook.

A DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter that will make your guests go “WOW!” is a lot easier to assemble than you might think.

Step-by-Step Charcuterie Platter

A step-by-step charcuterie platter (or board) recipe for a DIY work of art.

The Food Lover’s Companion,  says, “it refers to the products, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties such as pâtésrillettesgalantinescrépinettes, etc., which are made and sold in a delicatessen-style shop, also called a charcuterie.” The 1961 edition of Larousse Gastronomique defines it as “[t]he art of preparing various meats, in particular pork, in order to present them in the most diverse ways.”–WIKIPEDIA

The Berkel Red Line Slicer made the perfect cuts.

 

Preparation

To begin your step-by-step charcuterie platter, start with a rosette of salami by pinching together several slices and securing them with a toothpick, if necessary. You should avoid the use of toothpicks, but the center rosette may require one.

Add three evenly spaced fans of prosciutto.

Add S-shapes of salami, and additional pieces around the rosette.

Add rosettes of speck — or another soft, thinly-sliced cured meat — and a square or rectangle of your favorite pate. We chose a country pate because it holds its shape well.

Red-leaf lettuce leaves look awkward at this point, but will help to create a lush look when the platter is filled in.

Pretty little salad leaves threaded with red help build a background for what’s to come.

These purchased piquillo peppers come in jars and are scored with grill marks.

We added a wedge of semi-firm cheese that has a coating of espresso powder. To add interest to the plate we cut the rind of an additional wedge and arranged it alongside the pate.

Small mozzarella balls come in various sizes, plain or marinated. We bought medium-sized ciliegine and marinated them briefly in extra-virgin olive oil, a bit of champagne vinegar, minced scallion greens, freshly ground black pepper, and a bit of flaky sea salt.

These olives were purchased stuffed with blue cheese. For the best flavor and appearance, figs must be fresh and firm.

These grapes were chosen for their appearance as well as flavor. The elongated green grapes are a bit tart, the small red ones are sweet and mild.

Now is the time to add more fans and rosettes of your favorite meats to your step-by-step charcuterie platter. We added two shapes cut from our large smoked country ham — paper-thin slices as well as thick slices we then cut into little bars.

Strawberries and sprigs of rosemary add seasonal winter colors.

Add sweet fresh blackberries and sheafs of crisp crackers. The final touch to complete this step-by-step charcuterie platter is a spray of grissini, very thin Italian breadsticks. To make them stand up, put them in a toothpick holder or other small upright container that won’t tip over.

Want more? To the serving table add small dishes of chutney, pepper jelly, mustards, and fig or other jams that pair well with meats and cheeses.