This Halloween Charcuterie Board is courtesy of our contributor Dawn of Revel and Glitter…Love to impress your guests? I’m going to show you how to assemble a spooky chic charcuterie board for Halloween entertaining. It is one of my favorite set ups for any type of entertaining and not as intimating as it looks to assemble.
Just what is a charcuterie board? Think cheese tray…with meat! Which means there are no set rules; you are only bound by your budget and product availability. Don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous in your selection and I guarantee it will bring all kinds of ohs and ahs.
Halloween Charcuterie Board:
As you know, we eat with our eyes. When guests are presented with a spread that is appealing to the eyes, it can even impact the taste. What you choose to serve with plays a big role in stepping up your presentation game. Some of my must-haves are a slate cheese board or a long wooden board, cheese knives, and a few mini bowls. I love using my Crate & Barrel slate cheese board because I can write directly onto it with soapstone chalk (no chalk flakes!) instead of needing separate food markers.
Assembling Your Board
First stop, Trader Joe’s! If you are lucky to live near one, they have just about everything you need for entertaining! Other gourmet food stores like Whole Foods or QFC that have specialty foods, self-serve bars, and a great wine and cheese selection are perfect one-stop shops.
Meats – A variety of meats is where it’s at. Everyone has their favorites, but my go-to cured meats are salami, prosciutto, truffle salami and chorizo. On my board, I like to mix in beef sirloin roast, already fully cooked and sliced from Trader Joe’s, along with prosciutto and slices of truffle salami.
Cheese – Offer a variety of different types in texture and taste. Since everyone’s preferences are different, choose the ones that work best with your palette. I like to offer 3 – 4 different types, soft, semi-soft and hard cheeses. For a spookier look, I chose a Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey for both its mild taste and black rind, blue cheese, and the full, rich, tangy Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheddar with its dramatic mosaic look. Gouda, brie, and camembert are other amazing options.
Marinated Vegetables – Think artichoke hearts, salty olives, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and pickled garlic. Head to the deli section of your gourmet grocer and check out their antipasto self-serve bar. There are lots of tasty choices, but you can do a Google search on marinating your own vegetables if the bar is not an option.
Fruit and Nuts – These serve as great palate cleansers in between meat and cheese samplings. Limited only by your seasonal bounty, this is my favorite to pick and choose, mix and match. Fall fresh fruit in our area includes slices of apples and Asian pears, blackberries, pomegranates, purple and black grapes. You can mix in dried fruit like apricots, figs and dates and nuts like almonds (check out my pumpkin spiced recipe), pecans, pine nuts and walnuts.
Bread and Crackers – I love serving crunchy crackers like rice crackers and breadsticks. I am obsessed with and love Trader Joe’s Parmesan Crisps and recently discovered their Fig & Olive Crisps; they are the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Fresh or toasted baguette slices are another great option.
Wine, Beer and Cocktails – A fabulous red wine like Charles Smith’s Velvet Devil Merlot (the bottle is appropriately labeled with a big black pitchfork on the label) or the Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon by Rob Mondavi are perfect for pairings. You can also serve a seasonal beer or cider or your own signature cocktail. Make my green Toxic Ooze with vodka or check out this Fall Sangria.
Need another tasty idea? Check out how to put together a dessert charcuterie board, a great way to end your amazing dinner on a sweet note.
We’d like to send a big THANK YOU to Dawn of Revel & Glitter for sharing these creative ideas with us. Over on Dawn’s blog you’ll find plenty of party ideas for all of life’s celebrations. I hope you’re ready to plan a party because she’s sure to leave you inspired! Be sure to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for even more creative ideas.