Very rarely do a group of friends get together and celebrate the true glory that is food. This past weekend a group of nine headed down to the Hood Canal to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the everyday and reconnect with friends, wine, and food. Once the conversations (and wine) began to flow, and the eight-course feast commenced there was no stopping us (literally, we didn’t finish our last course until midnight)!
Our feast was inspired by both creole and French cuisine and needless to say, our bellies were full and eyelids heavy by the time dessert was served. I’d like to share with you our tasty evening over the next couple of weeks on the blog, every Wednesday and Friday. So let’s get started with an exceptional cheese course… of course.
Rules for a great cheese board:
1. Use a wooden or marble cheese platter, both make good cutting surfaces
2. Pick 3 to 4 cheeses as to not overwhelm you guests, or the plate
3. Choose different textures and animals (sheep, cow, goat)
a. Know your audience. If sheep or goat cheese is not appreciated, go with what you know. There are plenty of great cow cheeses!
4. Allow cheese to sit at room temperature before serving, this allows for a full flavor profile
5. Dried fruit, nuts and crusty breads/crackers are a must
6. A little sea salt sprinkled on top will change your life! I used Fleur de Sel.
Our cheese board included:
1. Ports Salut – Cow’s milk semi-soft cheese
2. Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar – Cow’s milk hard cheese
3. Smoked Gouda – Cow’s milk semi hard cheese
4. Red grapes
5. Dried apricots
6. French baguette
7. Herb crackers
8. Fleur de Sel Sea Salt
The added pop of the Fleur de Sel enhanced the nutty flavors in the Ports Salut, which is what I focused my attention on for the majority of the afternoon. This made a great transition into our next course, which I had never tried before and was much anticipating….bone marrow!