Easiest gourmet appetizer ever


Photo courtesy of Patchwork Pate.


Tired of turkey?  Fatigued by cooking for family?  Still inundated with social obligations but sadly out of savvy ideas for impressing?  No worriesCharcuterie platters are all the rage this holiday season and the good news is that you don’t have to be a great cook to get in on this hot entertaining trend.

Like a cheese board, the success of a charcuterie platter depends on making good choices at the grocery store. Sure you can be like my husband Martin and make your own lamb sausage, but you can just as easily buy fabulous cooked sausages, pates and cured meats from a store.

When creating a charcuterie platter, be sure to choose a range of flavours, textures and types of meat. Ideally you’ll want smoky, spicy and aromatic (i.e. herbs, truffles) flavoured options as well as a range of textures from chewy dry cured chorizo to velvety smooth pates.

Likewise, opt for artisan and natural products versus mass produced cured meats to avoid cloying artificial flavours, unnecessary fillers and other nasty stuff.

What’s your favourite charcuterie platter option? Do you pine for pate de foie gras, or go bonkers over balotta ham?


5 Responses to Easiest gourmet appetizer ever

  1. Peter says:

    Dana, I’m always at attention with charcuterie dishes and I love making my own sausage etc.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful and relaxed Christmas holiday.

  2. Quacky says:

    Several years ago John Bishop stopped serving foie gras at his restaurant because of the cruelty inherent in its production. It’s time the rest of us realized that there is nothing “gourmet” about animal cruelty and suffering. Aren’t we supposed to be civilized?

  3. danamccauley says:

    Hey Quacky, thanks for raising this point. If you jog back through the last year’s worh of posts on my blog, you’ll see that we’ve discussed this issue at length. I hope you’ll visit some of the earlier discussions and add your .02$ worth.

    Also, you might be interested to know that there is now a method for developing foie gras without cruelty in Spain. If you do a Google News search you’ll find that info easily.

    Happy New Year!


  4. Natashya says:

    I like any pate with black peppercorns in it. I got the terrine book for the holidays, I would like to try making it myself one day when I feel brave!

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