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how to assemble the perfect cheese platter

November 21, 2013

Christmas is coming and I haven’t even ordered my goose yet! It’s probably well-fattened by now, and with my luck, has been sold to someone far more prepared than I, along with the rest of its family.

(Which is just a slight problem as I’ll be whipping up not one, but three Christmas dinners this year!)

Luckily for me, the first Christmas Dinner (or should I say, Christmas lunch) is a themed part-potluck affair that I hold each year with a small group of girls I went to school with. We decided (way back in August) on a French theme and a French theme just calls out for a cheese course (or three).

So to assist the lovely ladies who have offered to bring said cheeses along (and to save myself from a hacked-at block of tasty and some shrink wrapped singles) I’ve put together a bit of a cheat sheet (well, that was the original plan – it’s starting to look a bit more like a manual!) for assembling the perfect cheese platter, with the assistance of Amanda Menegazzo of Dairy Australia (a lady far better versed in the world of cheese than I).

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picking your cheeses

 

Choosing cheeses can be rather overwhelming for a first time party planner lego marvel super heroes 2. There’s so many variables and so much scope for disaster (not really, it’s fine. Breathe.) So when picking your cheeses, here’s some questions you should ask yourself before hitting the shops:

How many people will I be cheesing today? 

This will help you determine how many cheeses and also how much of each cheese you’ll need. Unless your friends are serious cheese-fiends, we’d suggest between 80-100g of cheese per person (split between a variety of cheeses). If you’re serving nothing but a cheese course, you may need a bit more!

The answer to this question might also help you decide how many different kinds of cheese to buy. For a basic cheese platter, we recommend having a selection of three cheeses (two seems a bit less platter-like, no?) and building up from there as the number of people (and the amount of cheese you can reasonably purchase) increases.

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What kinds of cheeses should be on my platter audio grabber mp3 kostenlos downloaden?

Traditionally, a cheese platter will contain one each of a soft white cheese (like a Brie or Camembert), a blue cheese (soft or crumbly) and a firmer yellow cheese to finish off.

The best cheese platters have a range of different flavour profiles so that everyone can find something they like. So if your blue is a creamy, mellow version, make your firm cheese a crumbly sharp choice (and vice versa).

From there, try branching out to the soft spreadable cheeses like a crumbly fetta, a soft goat’s cheese or labne. Or you could add a cheese with a funky flavour such as a beer cheese, a washed rind or an ashed version of one of your favourites. Try experimenting with cheeses made from different kinds of milk (goat and sheep milk cheeses have a delightfully grassy funk to their flavour). Similarly, bite sized cheeses like bocconcini balls in a peppery olive oil are a great way to add a different texture and flavour profile to a strongly flavoured cheese plate age of empires 2 herunterladen kostenlos.

If you have pregnant friends, be kind and include a nice hard cheese for them so they don’t have to miss out on the fun!

Where should I buy them from (and how do I know if it’s any good?)

Premium cheeses can be pricey so it’s best to shop somewhere that will allow you to either sample the cheese first or where the assistant will be able to tell you what the cheese is like. A good deli or providore will usually stock cheeses with similar flavours but at a range of prices so that you’re able to pick the kind you like at the price you like (and they’ll also be able to cut off the amount you want from a bigger block, rather than have you buy whatever is at hand). I personally prefer buying locally made cheeses (to support Aussie Dairy Farmers) from local stores (to support local businesses).

In the end, the most important thing to consider when picking the components of your cheese platter is that you like all of the cheeses (as you’re the one who’ll have to eat the leftovers… if there are any!)

(I used four Australian Grand Dairy Award Finalists on my cheese platter – Pyengana Cheddar, Heidi Farm Tilsit, Berry’s Creek Tarwin Blue and King Island Dairy Black Label Double Brie – as well as some fresh bocconcini that I picked up at the deli)

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perfect cheese pairings

 

A cheese platter without accompaniments is nothing more than cheese on a plate (which is also good, but in its own kinda way) and as much as I love nothing more than eating a hunk of cheese with nothing but my fingers for accompaniment, it doesn’t quite make the cut in company. When putting together my shopping list, I like to make sure I have at least one item from each of the following categories on my perfect cheese platter:

Things to put the cheese on

Fillers, essentially where you can download age of empires as a full version for free. Think water crackers (with or without pepper), grissini, lavosh, toasted bagel bits or flatbreads. When picking these, consider how strongly flavoured your cheeses are and make sure there is at least one neutral (or plain) flavoured filler as your oozey, creamy brie will be no match for a garlicky bagel crisp (unless you don’t want to taste the brie at all).

Things to eat with the cheese

This category contains sweets, spreads and pastes – things that will lift your cheese-filled mouthful to the next level. Quince or fruit pastes are fantastic alongside a blue, as are walnuts and dried muscatels. Fresh or dried fruit (such as pear slices, fresh cherries or dried figs and apricots) are grand accompaniments to something sharp and bitey. Aged balsamics add a bit of pizzazz when drizzled over a parmesan and roasted hazelnuts bring out the lovely mushroomy qualities in an oozey brie.

Things to eat alongside the cheese

Otherwise known as the palate cleaners and refreshers for nibbling on between cheesey bites – think bowls of smoked almonds, plump cherry tomatoes or a selection of fine chocolate buds download dj virtual for free german. Something that has a different flavour and texture to the cheese, that you won’t eat in the same mouthful as it, but that will allow your tastebuds to recover momentarily before reaching for a little nibble more.

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pretty plating (or planking)

 

To plate or plank, that is the question.

And the answer? Whatever you have to hand – as long as there’s enough room on it for all of the cheese and accouterments!

I personally love serving my cheeses on the largest wooden chopping board I have. It makes for a wonderfully grand delivery to the table and I don’t have to worry about hearing the screech of knives on plates, slate or tile. Once, when my chopping board was otherwise occupied (in the washing up pile), I cleaned off a very large tile leftover from some bathroom renovations, popped a piece of baking paper over the top of it (as it wasn’t food grade) and laid my cheese selection on top of that download lg ringtones for free. The best part about that arrangement was that I could use a food dye pen to circle and write the names of all of the cheeses around the platter – very fancy!

Whichever surface you use, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room for all of the cheese. Rather than plonking it all down in the middle with a knife to go between, try staggering the cheeses around the plate. I’ve heard that at some parties, people can be reluctant to be the first to cut into the cheese (who are these lovely, polite people?) so make it easier on them by cutting or shaving a few slices off each and arranging them beside the block.

Once the cheese is arranged, start to place the other bits and pieces on the plate. A drizzle of jam on top of part of the blue cheese, some slices of paste beside it perhaps Download games brawl stars? Place some of your fillers (grissini, water crackers, lavosh) on the plate to encourage eating and the rest in a couple of bowls alongside so that the platter itself doesn’t look too crowded. If the accompaniments are loose and numerous (like nuts) pop them into little sauce bowls in amongst the cheeses.

And most importantly, make sure there’s one knife per cheese or everything will end up tasting like the blue!

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polishing them off!

 

Platter assembled and it’s time to eat!

Well, sort of.

In order to get the best out of your cheeses, it’s important that anything soft or matured cheeses are taken out of the fridge at least an hour before serving so that they can warm up and start to ooze youtube zum herunterladen. Their flavour will be much more obvious than if they’re served cold (and if you’re paying for the good stuff, you’ll want to taste it at its best!)

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putting some aside (for later)

 

If you happen to be the lucky host whose guests don’t polish off  every last bit of cheese on the plate, you’ll need to be able to store it for later.

For soft cheeses, wrap each kind of cheese up in waxed paper, sticky taping an loose ends down. Label the paper with the kind of cheese and the date you served it on (so it doesn’t get forgotten or left to fester). Harder cheeses can be wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss and both should then be put into a plastic container with a lid (to prevent any icky odours being absorbed) before popping them wherever you have space in the fridge.

You’ll need to eat cheese relatively soon after it’s been served as the constant heat changes as it’s brought to room temperature and back down again to fridge temperature aren’t great for it app to download videos from youtube iphone. But that shouldn’t be a problem. Right?

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Meet the Australian Grand Dairy Award Cheese Finalists!

Fresh Unripened Cheese: La Vera Ricotta, Brancourts Neufchatel & Montefiore Mascarpone

White Mould Cheese: King Island Dairy Black Label Double Brie & Wicked Brie

Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese: Heidi Farm Tilsit, Heidi Farm Gruyere & Tasmanian Heritage St Claire

Cheddar Style Cheese: Pyengana Cheddar, Warrnambool Heritage Tasty Cheddar & Warrnambool Mature Cheddar

Hard Cheese: Mil Lel Parmesan, Mil Lel Romano & La Vera Pecorino

Blue Cheese: Berry’s Creek Tarwin Blue, Berry’s Creek Bellingham Blue & King Island Dairy Roaring Forties Blue

Washed Rind Cheese: King Island Dairy Huxley Washed Rind, Tasmanian Heritage Red Square & Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red

Flavoured Cheese Cuore Blu Diavoletti, Olympus Halloumi & Puglia Chilli Pecorino

Goat’s or Sheep’s Milk Cheese: Berry’s Creek Rowefords Blue, Meredith Marinated Feta & Woodside Monet

 

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Australian Grand Dairy Awards 2014. (You can see onebitemore’s editorial and sponsored post policies here)

Now in its 15th year, the Australian Grand Dairy Awards have been recognising and rewarding excellence, quality and innovation in Australian dairy produce since 1999, paying tribute to the achievements of the highly-skilled specialists who develop and make these products.

More than 400 cheese and dairy products were entered into one of 20 product classes, which includes other milk-based products from cheese and dips to yogurt and gelato libreoffice mac. Winners are determined using a rigourous and highly technical judging process by teams of 12 judges.  The judges assessed the products over two full days, tasting and testing them for flavour, aroma, body, texture, colour and appearance.

Find out more about the Australian Grand Dairy Awards at Legendairy.com.au/agda

 


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