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Looking for a tasty, yet simple-to-prepare meal you can enjoy on a cool fall night with your significant other and a nice glass of wine? This week’s recipe is more of a set of guidelines for creating a fall-inspired combination of meats, cheeses, pairings, and toppings that works together perfectly.
All you need for this no-energy-use required meal is a bit of time to stroll around your favorite higher-end grocery store to gather the ingredients! You might notice that I didn’t include many specific amounts of measurements in the list of components for this fall meat and cheese board. This is because you have free reign to purchase as much or as little as you need of the ingredients. I only ask that you follow the recommended autumnal flavor profiles.
While you can use nearly any type of protein, I recommend using one peppered meat, one Applewood-smoked meat, and one sweet honey-roasted meat as the foundation of any fall-flavored board. With today’s dish, I opted for a black pepper crusted thick-cut ham, an Applewood honey-smoked thin-sliced ham, and a sweet and spicy roast turkey.
With regards to the cheeses, I find cheeses that pair directly with the meats, and then a specialty cheese that can stand alone or be paired with a few additional side items. For example, a milder cheese – like the Gouda used today or white cheddar – tastes great with your Applewood smoked meat and the yummy sauce you will make from below. An herbaceous goat cheese combines with the peppered meat and sourdough bread, and you can never go wrong with a pungent wedge of blue cheese.
I suggest purchasing a specialty cheese that contains fall ingredients. Options I’ve seen feature cranberries, port wine, apricot, blueberries, candied pecans, and similar fillings. Today, I procured a fig-and-honey-filled cheese to go with my turkey, and then added fig preserves and honey directly to the board. In other words, if you pick up something like blueberry, cranberry, or apricot cheese, purchase the accompanying preserves to keep the flavors of your fall board consistent.
I like to then add texture with inclusion of pumpkin seeds and pecans. You can certainly choose traditional roasted options, but I recommend varieties that enhance your dining experience. That’s why I went for honey-apple pumpkin seeds and praline style pecans, as they complement the blue cheese and the other flavors on the board.
The last piece of this board is the bread. While I prefer a loaf of herb-infused sourdough bread and a loaf of pumpkin bread, you really can’t go wrong with classic sourdough!
Fall Meat and Cheese Board
Dijon Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. Apple jelly
- 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. Sea salt
- Pepper-crusted ham
- Applewood smoked ham
- Honey-roasted turkey (a sweet and spicy variety is featured today)
- Blue cheese wedge
- Gouda wedge
- Fall fruit-filled specialty cheese wedge (fig and honey used today)
- Herbaceous goat cheese
- Fresh apple, sliced
- Pumpkin seeds, any flavor
- Pecans (praline style featured today)
- Local honey
- Fruit preserves (pick preserve that pairs with specialty cheese wedge)
- 1 loaf of Pumpkin bread
- 1 loaf of Sourdough bread (herb-infused used today)
1) Create the Dijon sauce by combining the ingredients into a small bowl and mixing well.
2) Slice the apple into thin slices.
3) Slice the cheeses into this slices or small pieces – your preference.
4) Roll up any meat with a toothpick to take up less room on the board.
5) Spread a drizzle of the Dijon/apple sauce on one side of the board, and a drizzle of local honey on the other side of the board.
6) Place the Gouda and Applewood smoked meat on top of the Dijon drizzled side, the specialty cheese and blue cheese on the honey drizzle, the honey-roasted meat next to the specialty cheese, and the goat cheese and peppered meat on the far edge of the board.
7) Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds around the board, place the pecans around the blue cheese, place the fruit preserves by the honey-roasted meat and specialty cheese, and place the sliced apple by the Applewood smoked meat.
8) Slice the pumpkin loaf and sourdough bread. Place it alongside the board and dig in!
Enjoy the flavors of fall with this delectable (yet hearty!) meat and cheese board.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan