What I love about cooking is that you can always keep trying until you perfect the recipe. I believe food should be perfected, not just cooked. We eat way too much for it be mediocre. Cook it until it’s right! Since I made this cheese tray last year, I’ve been itching to make a new one. It was good but I learned a lot and have been looking for ways to leave my own touch on a cheese board.
Because of the size of these cheese trays, I don’t make them real often. You really need a crowd to graze over a really big cheese tray with all of the fixings. Since I had family visiting this week, I knew this would be a good time to try my hand again at a bigger and better charcuterie and cheese board. This time around I wanted to add a little cajun “flair” with some Louisiana foods. My first thoughts were maybe some smoked sausage and boudin.
When I’m making a charcuterie and cheese board, I make a list to get me started. To make it really complete, I keep an open mind at the grocery store. Since I wanted to add cajun touches, I was looking for one or two more different food elements to add into it. When I got close to the seafood section, I remembered that Rouses carries a crab dip that taste excellent with crackers. The dip is mainly cream cheese, crab, and pimento. For a store-bought dip, it’s excellent.
Why make your own when someone else has the perfect recipe?
Homemade pecan pralines and boudin were the additional crowd-pleasing food touches that I was looking for. They added a special taste that you can only get in southern Louisiana. This was the perfect variety that I was wanting.
This beautiful cheese tray will give all you the “cajun” feels with it’s use of pecan candy, boudin, and smoked sausage. Your guests will love all the sweets and treats on this cheese board.
- 1/2 Pound Soft Cheese (Brie is pictured)
- 1/2 Pound Pepperjack Cheese
- 1/2 Pound Cheddar Cheese (Sharp or Mild)
- 20–30 Melba Toast Crackers
- 20–30 Pita Crackers
- 1/2 pound Sliced Pepperoni
- 1 Grapefruit
- 1 carton Strawberries
- 1 can Green Olives
- 1 can Black Olives
- 4–5 Pecan Praline / Pecan Candy
- 1 link Sliced Boudin
- 8–10 Breadsticks
- 1 cup Crab dip (Pre-made)
- 4–6 sprigs Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, or Mint)
- Arrange all food items on serving tray. Starting with you have the most of (possible cheese or fruit) and working your way around the tray as you go.
- Be sure to not put items from the same category right next to each other. Put them across from each other so that all items can be showcased.
- Add fresh herbs (mint/rosemary/thyme) to style/complete the cheese tray.
No charcuterie and cheese board is complete without CHEESE. I always stick to the standards like cheddar and pepper jack. This time I really wanted to give brie cheese a try too. It’s so pretty and variety is always of utmost importance. Also fruit, crackers, and olives are the finishing touches for this huge grazing platter. My grapefruit trees are bearing a lot of fruit this year so I made sure to include a little on my cheese board too.
Don’t forget to add fresh herbs for garnish too.
My secret to making an awesome cheese board is variety. Whatever you choose to serve make sure you have variations of the items. For example, for crackers, I added in sesame seed breadsticks, melba snack crackers, and pita crackers. They can be used to layer with meats and cheese or be used with dip. Again, there were multiple options for crackers, not just one. This is perfect for a large crowd too. So when you’re looking for ways to re-create something similar, remember variety is the key.
You know you’re from the South when you have rice on your cheese tray.
Who’s coming over to help me finish grazing this charcuterie and cheese board? Let me know in the comments below.