Cheese platter for you and your sweetheart to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Do it!
You guys, I’ve been so obsessed with cheese at the end of my pregnancy! Well, I always loved cheese, but it was a bit over the top obsession!
One day, I’ve made the cheesiest mac and cheese with 4 different cheeses (the richest ones too!). It was so rich that Garrat said that we should only eat it as a side dish, but to me it was a perfection! ?
Also, my go to snack was slices of seriously sharp cheddar (you know, my favorite Cabot one!), or creamy Havarti, or goat cheese (in small doses), and crackers, and salami! So delish! The only thing missing was WINE! Omg, how much I wanted chilled white wine! And that was kind of weird, because I’m more of a red wine drinker, you know. I still haven’t fixed that craving yet, but soon, very soon!
I have to admit that a plate of cheeses with various add-ons served us as a dinner quite a few nights. Surprisingly, Garrat never complained about it. Not sure if the cheese platter was so satisfying, or he felt bad about his pregnant wife, who was about to pop and not in the mood to cook.
So while indulging in so much cheese, I thought it’d be a fantastic idea to serve a beautiful cheese platter for Valentine’s Day. Who said you have to serve 5-course dinner? Or go out to a fancy restaurant? Do something different, stay in, make a cheese platter, explore different cheeses and have some wine! And, of course, chocolate! Don’t forget to have chocolate for dessert.
Anyway, let’s talk about cheese platter. Shall we?
You really don’t have to go out of your way to build a over-the-top-fancy cheese plate, especially when it’s just for two of you! But let’s discuss the basic rules here.
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #1: Classic rule of thumb: get a combination of different cheeses, such as soft, hard, aged and blue. Here are some examples for each type:
- Soft: brie, ricotta, goat cheese, camembert
- Hard: parmigiano reggiano, gruyere, asiago
- Aged: aged cheddar, aged havarti, sharp cheddar, goat gouda, comte
- Blue: stilton, gorgonzola, danish blue. For milder blue cheese, look for less veiny (blue) and soft n’ creamy type of blue cheese.
For 2 people, 3 variety of cheeses should be enough. For a crowd, it’s usually advised to offer 5 types of cheeses.
Here I’m having Castello aged havarti (creamy, yet sharp, I loved it!), honey goat cheese, and Castello Danish blue (I loved its sharp flavor smeared on toasted baguette. A little bit goes a long way.) Thank you, Castello for introducing your delicious cheeses! I’m your huge Havarti fan now! ❤️
CHEESE PLATER TIP #2: Choose at least one well known cheese, like sharp cheddar. And it’s also a good idea to pick up something new that both of you haven’t tried before. Be adventurous. Here, we tried honey goat cheese for the first time. I loved it, but Garrat wasn’t a fan. You never know what you might end up liking!
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #3: Typically, you’ll need 3-4oz of cheese per person, if you’re serving the platter as a light meal. For appetizer course, you can get away with about 2oz per person.
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #4: About an hour before serving, bring out the cheeses, unwrap them so that they can breathe and come to room temperature. The cold temperature dulls the flavor.
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #5: Arrange the cheeses from mild to strong from left to right, or in a clockwise pattern. If you have a pungent cheese, place it separately so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the cheeses. Also, don’t forget to label the cheeses.
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #6: Place one cheese knife for each cheese type to prevent mixing the flavors. Speaking of cheese knives, don’t you think those knives are just fab? I borrowed them from my mother-in-law.
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #7: You can’t serve cheese platter without accompaniments. There 4 main types of accompaniments you could serve with your cheeses:
- Bread: I like to serve variety of breads, like different types of crackers, toasted baguette slices, bread sticks. Also, I’m in love with savory cheese puffs. I’ll be sharing Havarti Cheese Puffs recipe next week. Stay tuned, as they’re absolutely addicting!
- Sweets: Any seasonal fruits, like pomegranates, figs and pears, are great! Also, honey and various fruit preserves and chutneys are excellent. But again, since the platter is only for 2, I went with just pomegranates. And it was perfect!
- Salty: Smoky almonds, cashews, pistachios are awesome salty add-ons, as well as artichoke hearts, olives, pickles! Again, you don’t need all of the above, whatever you have (1-2 selections) in your kitchen would be plenty.
- Charcuterie: Thin prosciutto, salami, or any other cured meats are a must for well rounded cheese platter. I love white wine salami, and that’s what you see here. Oh so good!
CHEESE PLATTER TIP #8: WINE! ? Did I mention wine is mandatory?? Ok, not really mandatory. But you know, it’s highly recommended. Red, white, rosé, whatever floats your boat.
By the way, what you see on the photos here isn’t wine. I was 8 months pregnant, when I made this, so I had to substitute with grape juice. Close enough? ?
That’s a wrap for today. Hope you enjoyed all the cheeses! 🙂