I am not French, but I like good cheese. In fact, I love good cheese. My husband is a bit of a cheese snob and I think some of it has rubbed off on me. On occasion we treat ourselves to a cheese-fest for dinner. This may sound boring to some, but I know there are fellow cheese lovers reading this and I’m sure you’ve done this too. I usually take my daughter to our favorite local cheese shop after her naptime and we select a range of cheeses to bring home. This often includes a blue cheese, soft goat cheese, sharp cheddar and nutty Parmesan. When we get home these are paired with some marcona almonds, baguette slices, prosciutto, sweet honey and grapes. Then, we dive in.
My daughter is still coming around to the stinky blues, it is not unusual that children don’t like the harsh flavor, but she enjoys the cheddar and fruit. My husband and I sit our cheese plate in the middle of the table and work our way around it in a circle. I try to read whatever information the store gave me before trying each kind of cheese in the interest of educating myself, though it doesn’t always work that way. With a glasses of wine for us and bubbly water for our daughter we enjoy a delicious meal that required no more effort than a quick trip to the shop. Here are my tips for creating your own cheese night at home:
– Always remember that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy great cheese.
– Ask the people helping you for a range of recommendations. They will usually recommend one soft cheese, one medium cheese, one hard cheese and one blue. This comprises a basic cheese plate. To add in more selections think about a runny brie or soft camembert.
Greats sides for cheese:
– Nuts like Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans.
– Fruits like dried apricots, dried cranberries, grapes and strawberries.
– Crackers, baguette slices, parmesan crisps
– Fresh honey or fruit in syrup
– Prosciutto or salami are terrific, ask your purveyor for recommendations
– Select wines last because the cheese should dictate the wine. Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a great wine with your cheese.
For the Kids:
– Anything you buy at the store can be served to kids, too. Use some of the cheddar to make them great grilled cheeses. Or, stir some blue cheese into buttermilk and mayo to make a fun veggie dip.