I love cheese. My cat loves cheese. Your grandma loves cheese. Basically everyone loves the stuff! I decided to make a cheese plate for an hors d-eouvre for my partner and myself while we were anxiously waiting on our entree to cook. I may have spoiled my appetite with this a little, but oh my gosh, was it worth it. This post provides cheese pairing suggestions and tips for delicious sweet-savory, creamy-crunchy combinations that will have your guests asking for more!
I recently went to a bar and restaurant in downtown Saint Paul and ordered their seasonal cheese board to split with my better half. My jaw dropped at how expensive it was, but it was absolutely phenomenal. That inspired my want to create something equally as delicious for a fraction of the price. Their board paired a sheep milk brie, sage-marbled provolone, and 4-year sharp cheddar with house-made candied walnuts, fig spread, frisee, and berries. I’m not a huge fan of the stinky cheeses, so although I tried the brie I couldn’t get past the slightly fermented taste the sheep milk lent it. Another bonus of building my own board: no stinky cheese allowed!
I chose a Tillamook Smoked Black Peppercorn White Cheddar, Boursin Garlic and Herb Gournay-style cheese, and a merlot-soaked hard cheese. Not the best first pairing ever, but hey, it’s cheese and it’s going to be good regardless. I paired them with a store bought fig jam, which is my new favorite thing, butter toffee peanuts from the store, and a lavender honey my mom’s friend cultivates in the summer. The strawberries added another layer of sweetness to lighten up the cheese – especially the Boursin.
Presentation is key in making a fancy little cheese plate that impresses your friends – I just had fun with it and it turned out surprisingly well! I wish I had a little ramekin to put the fig jam in, but other than that it was easy to eat. The next cheese board I make is going to have some crudite and more of a variation of cheeses…follow The Amateur Professional to keep up with my cheese creations!