Cheese If You Please

cheeseThis month I’m not sharing a recipe, but more one of my favorite meals. Lots of nights I just want a nosh, I have a friend who calls it “Pick’ns”, to satisfy these cravings my go-to is a nice cheese plate.
I have some simple guidelines for my cheese plates, and within these the combinations are almost endless:
use 3-6 kinds of cheese (buy the best cheese you can afford)
mix dry cheeses with creamy cheeses like brie
strong cheeses should have either honey or a preserve to compliment
add some olives, fruit or nuts to the plate if you have them

So, with these in mind, let me create a couple of example plates and share my thoughts on why they work.

Cheese Plate 1

(for two)

Stilton Blue about an ounce because its strong
Creamy Havarti two ounces
Spanish Manchego
Wild Honey, Toasted Walnuts and a sliced honey crisp apple

Cheese Plate 2

(for four or more just increase the quantity)

Brie or Triple Cream
Humboldt Fog
Yellow Hoop Cheddar
White Aged Cheddar
P’tit Basque
A horseradish or Spicy Cheese
Fig Jam, Almonds, Olives and Grapes
Why do these combinations work? In plate one, the Honey softens the Blue which is in contrast to the Havarti. The Manchego provides a nice middle ground. In plate two the brie or triple cream texture is offset by the texture of the others. The Humboldt and Basque are stronger to contrast the Cheddar. The accompaniments clean the palate between cheeses or can be used to add layers of flavor.
If you’ve never been to a great cheese shop, (or a shop that has a huge selection of cheese that will let you sample) you should. In my opinion, a great cheese plate and a bottle of wine are a great way to create a gourmet evening.

Till next month,

Glenn signature