Easy Fine Dining

Saturday, July 19, 2014 0

What do you cook when it’s 112 degrees outside, the air conditioner is blasting just to keep it a stale 79, and the idea of turning on a stove or oven makes you cringe? You “cook” a cheese board.

Summers in Las Vegas are unique. I know we’re not the only ones with hot weather, and I feel for those who suffer from this thing I don’t understand called humidity. But wow. Anything over 105 is just miserable. After an early afternoon at the movie theatre, and a Whole Foods shopping trip, there was no way this gal was slaving in the kitchen.

Enter: the cheese board

 

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This is a new favorite in our house. Many of the grocery stores, including Whole Foods, have a small basket of assorted cheeses in smaller portions. Usually left over from the block or wheel they cut up. Pick up a handful of these gems (go crazy, try something new!) and pair with crackers, nuts, fruits, meats, bread, vegetables or pickled condiments.

I’ve created a Pinterest board with ideas for a Wine or Beer tasting party. Since both wine AND beer go so well with cheese and artesian meats, this is a great board with accompaniments for cheese on your tray.

http://www.pinterest.com/katiestambaugh/party-beer-or-wine-tasting/

This particular day I picked up a coffee rubbed, cranberry cheddar, an onion or chive brie, chunky bleu, and a chipotle cheddar. We paired it with items I had in the fridge and cabinets. Walnuts, purple grapes, strawberries, pears, wheat crackers, and dried cranberries. We paired it with an inexpensive Cab from the cabinet and called it….dinner.

You could use this as a fun date night dinner after you put the kids down and enjoy a movie. It could be your picnic date meal (in an adorable bento box!). We chose to play some dominoes on the coffee table and watch a movie, after polishing off this tray.

 

Cheese Board Ingredient Ideas

Crackers/Bread

  • water crackers
  • wheat crackers
  • baguette
  • pita chips
  • crostini

Meats

  • salami
  • procuittio
  • other cured meats

Cheese

  • feta cubes
  • goat cheese log (roll in herbs or pepper)

Fruit

  • grapes
  • pears
  • melon
  • dried cranberries
  • dried currants
  • strawberries
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • dates
  • figs
  • cherries
  • apples

Vegetables

  • tomatoes
  • bell pepper

Nuts (plain, seasoned, candied)

  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

Pickled/Condiments

  • Kalamata Olives
  • Green Olives

Other

  • honey
  • chutney
  • jellies

 

Things to consider: keep it simple, don’t over do it with too many choices.

 

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I hope you enjoy this low-prep, no cook dinner substitute as much as we did.

 

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