You guys. 2020 is finally coming to a close. Anyone else feel like this year has gone by really quickly and super slow all at the same time? What. A. Year. I'm looking into 2021 with a lot of hope for a better year.
This year, we are choosing to stay inside and enjoy a quiet NYE, but that doesn't mean we can't still celebrate and do something special. Nothing says cozy like a charcuterie board date night by the fire, so I put together a charcuterie board but added a couple of twists that make it unique. I chose to add in a quick and easy appetizer to my board - bacon wrapped pears with goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. I also added some blackberry compote on top of the brie and sprinkled it with pomegranates and chopped rosemary. To ring in the new year, I made a blackberry champagne cocktail that also utilizes some of the blackberry compote and a splash of Grand Marnier and Brandy.
I know building a charcuterie board can feel daunting, so I'll walk you through some steps I take when creating my boards and also include the recipes for the pears, compote, and cocktail.
Cheers to a new year, friends!!
Step 1 - Choose Your Cheeses
I always choose 3-4 different types of cheese and I like a variety of hard cheese, soft cheese, herbed cheese, and smoked cheese or other flavor. So for this board I chose brie, smoked gouda, herbed goat cheese, rosemary and olive oil asisago, and a cheddar with some chilies in it for a bit of a kick.
Step 2 - Choose Your Meats
I always select 3 meats to go with the cheese. Usually prosciutto, salami, and some summer sausage. You can also spice it up a bit by getting pepper crusted salami or something fun.
Step 3 - Choose Your Crackers
I like to get 2-3 different types of crackers to compliment the cheese and meat. I choose a variety of thin, thick, herbed and plain. For this board, I selected a multigrain cracker and a plain water cracker.
Step 4 - Choose Your Add-Ins
To me, this is the fun part. These can be a variety of things and it's where I like to be creative. I choose a variety of fruits, jams, marmalades, olives, nuts, etc. For this particular board, I selected black grapes, blackberries, fig jam, quince jam, boozed cherries, olives, and a nut mix that included chocolate and dried cranberries.
If you want to take your board to the next level, add in a fun appetizer and top the brie with something delicious. You can find the recipes for my bacon wrapped pears and blackberry compote below!
Bacon Wrapped Pears with Goat Cheese & Honey
- 4 pears
- 8 teaspoons goat cheese
- 8 strips maple bacon
- 4 teaspoons honey
- fresh rosemary for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut pears in half and core them.
- Fill each pear with goat cheese and wrap with maple bacon. Cover a baking sheet in foil and place pear halves on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until pears are soft.
- To serve, drizzle with honey and sprinkle fresh rosemary on top. Serve immediately.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Combine blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan. Toss to coat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Bring berry mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
- To serve on brie, use a slotted spoon to scoop some blackberries on top. Then using a spoon, drizzle some of the juice on top. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and fresh chopped rosemary on top.
Blackberry Champagne Cocktail
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- Splash of Brandy
- 1 tsp juice from blackberry compote (recipe above)
- Brut champagne
- Blackberries and thyme sprigs for garnish
- In a champagne glass, add Grand Marnier, Brandy, and blackberry compote.
- Top with champagne and garnish with a couple of blackberries and a sprig of thyme