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need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate

Last post Jun 19, 2005 11:22 PM by mamesmom . 22 replies.


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  • need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    A good friend is returning to town to celebrate a combination birthday/anniversary. I've been asked to bring a cheese and cracker tray and I'd like to do something REALLY special. Any ideas?

    Is there a way to make little toasted bread perhaps (instead of plain crackers)? -- a special combination of cheeses? -- can I add olives or something to the platter?? If I do add olives or pickles, etc. how do I keep the crackers crisp on the same plate???

    ANY help would be greatly appreciated.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    personally I would not add olives or pickles...someone else may have that assignment...at my grocery store in the deli area they have sliced toasted bagel chips and sliced toasted french bagetts (sp), flavored...like onion and garlic etc...that might be something to look for.

    as for flavored cheese...I don't know about making any of that, but I bet someone here can give you many good recipes..but pepper jack cheese is very good..I know some cheese company has shaped sliced cheese....maybe Sargento??? In flower shapes and one other...I would think that would be in the area where the bagged cheese hangs..

    have fun at your friends party....
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    It's not how you start, it's how you end....so end strong!!

    Walk yourself strong!!

  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    I like using canape cutters or mini cutters to cut the cheese in shapes. I usually add a small bunch of grapes for colour. Do you have the shaped bread tubes from Pampered Chef? You could make bread in that and toast it too.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    You could get a wedge of brie and other types of cheeses that people don't normally eat on a daily basis (i.e. 'special' types). This would give everyone a chance to try new cheeses. Buy small deli breads or make your own if you have the Pampered Chef bread tubes in different shapes. Then place everything around seedless grapes on the stem on your platter.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    Redraspberrygirl - great minds think alike!
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    I am like you in the respect that I like to make my trays extra special. I guess that's because I enjoy cooking and preparing food and watching people enjoy what I've done.
    Here is a recipe that is always a hit.
    As for the cheese and crackers, I like the bagel chips that are in the Deli section of our grocery store. The cheeses that I use are also found in the deli section. I like variety.
    Something else that also goes well with a cheese and cracker tray is: green onion, cleaned and the tops left on but the ends trimmed. put a little bit of softened cream cheese around the white part of the onion and then wrap a wafer slice of ham around it. These are delicious! Also very colorful ona tray.

    Roquefort Grapes

    5 ounces almonds
    1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 (3 ounce) package Roquefort cheese
    1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
    1/4 pound seedless red grapes
    1/4 pound seedless green grapes

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Place almonds in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
    In a food processor, coarsely chop toasted almonds. Transfer to a medium bowl.
    In a medium bowl, whip together cream cheese, Roquefort cheese and heavy cream. Gently fold the seedless red grapes and seedless green grapes into the mixture to coat.
    Roll each grape in the chopped almonds. Place on wax paper and chill in the refrigerator until serving.


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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    Add fruit for garnish. Ripe pears go well with many cheeses, as do grapes. Just be sure to put a small sharp knife on the tray to help cut hard fruit. Some places sell paper grape leaves, which you can use to dress up an inexpensive platter or tray. I live in an urban area, so finding a cheese shop with a good selection is not hard. When DH sets up a cheese tray for a catering, he chooses some cheeses everyone will know (cheddar, gouda, etc.) and some less well known cheeses to expand people's horizons. He's pretty picky on the subject, but boy those trays are beautiful.
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    "I try to avoid serving inedible substances to my guests." VinnyD
  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    Judy,

    I would suggest serving cheese(s) with apple slices. Cheese and apples make an excellent food pairing. Cheese and apple slices can be eaten with your fingers, thus eliminating silverware. Also, there are no runny, messy juices that are associated with olives and pickles. (I personally cannot imagine pairing apples with pickles, but that is just a personal choice). Some cheeses, (including a good cheddar), some apple slices and some assorted crackers, Triscuts or zwieback would be the way I would do it. Very simple, very good and no mess; everything could be served right together on the same platter.

    An important thing to remember: Let your cheese(s) be at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. Cold cheese simply does not have much flavor. You would be surprised at the number of people who do not know that and eat cheese right from the refrigerator.

    --Had
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    OOPS...above post:

    I meant to say that I cannot imagine pairing cheese with pickles.

    Lisa's idea is a good one...pears are good with cheese also (it's just that I prefer apples). Grapes would be a nice garnish also, as she suggested.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    WOW -- What a great bunch of ideas! Thank you all. I'm going to save this whole page!

    I guess I only thought of olives, etc. since my friend is absolutely crazy about my dilly beans and I was trying to think of a way to incorporate them in the plate -- but you are all right, and fruit is a MUCH better idea. (Maybe I'll just take a couple of jars of dilly beans for him as a surprise gift.)

    Rhe roquefort grapes sound awesome. My friend is a gourmet cook, so he would love these, I'm sure!

    Thanks again!

    Judy
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    The only addition i have is to think about a cheese ball or log ( there are many on the BB) to add to the variety of cheese, i also like a wedge of brie and maybe a flavored goat cheese along with standard favorites,definetly a variety of crackers..i do bagel chips,a grainy wheat cracker, butter crackers and often I add pepperidge farms pumpernickle stix..
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    Ideally a cheese tray has a variety of types/textures. Ie a mild like brie, a sharp like cheddar etc etc. Try also a spreadable cheese like a garlic and herb flavor. You can find some great ones at the deli section in the market. And there are always "designer cheeses" which I splurge on at Christmas for trays ie Gourmand (very creamy, flavored with cherry kirsch or walnut liqueur), Stilton with Blue (looks pretty like a layer cake lol!). If your friend likes the pickle thing, another idea is marinated mozzarella cubes-just use Italian salad dressing. Make sure to drain them tho!

    To keep the cheeses/fruits separate if you dont have a tray with compartments, try fancy muffin wrappers. I use the metallic ones at the holidays. I also put a variety of crackers in the muffin wrappers.

    Since people have differing tastes, it is great to just buy like 4 or 5 different kinds in small wedges.

    Fruit is a great addition on a cheese tray. Esp apple slices, strawberries and grapes since they are not messy. Or small fruit skewers. You can prepare ahead on small toothpicks, half an orange, and stick the skewers into the orange in the center of the tray.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    Another great idea with a cheese tray. TOH put out a bunch of mini-appetizer cheesecake recipes. I put a few of those on my cheese tray at Christmas as well. One was with blue cheese. One had a taco flavoring with cheddar. Instead of slicing (or you could preslice thin), you can just scoop them with a cheese spreader.
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    When I serve a cheese tray I generally have a variety of cheeses. Some mild, sharp etc and different textures. Sometimes I add a cheese ball and some pate and always red and green grapes. All of this can be assembled in advance and removed from fridge 30 min in before serving. Just add a cheese cutter and spreader if necessary. Serve with a variety of crackers.(adding the crackers in advance will cause them to be soggy)

    Enjoy
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  • RE: need Ideas for cheese & cracker plate
    This is a great recipe. I serve it in a bowl rather than mold it into a ball.

    E’s CHEESE BALL

    1 lb longhorn cheese, grated (I use sharp cheddar)
    4 oz can chopped green chilies
    2 oz can chopped pimiento
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    ½ cup chopped ripe olives
    6 Tablespoons salad dressing or mayonnaise
    Tabasco sauce
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    Mix well and let set in fridge overnight to meld the flavors.

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