Post by chief_cook2 on Mar 28, 2005 10:22:05 GMT -6
How to select a cheese course
For most occasions you can serve 3 to 5 cheeses to please any crowd. Cheese pairing is simpleâ€”you choose the cheese you like most. Select cheeses that are contrasting in taste and texture; balance the sweet with the pungent, the firm with the creamy. Fresh fruit such as grapes, sliced pears, and figs compliment cheeses, as do savories such as olives, roasted nuts, and marinated vegetables.
Olives and other savories
Olives are a simple addition to your cheese course. At once elegant and elementary, they pack a huge amount of flavor into one small bite. Take a few extra minutes to "dress" or marinate your olives: drain them of brine, then gently toss them to coat with olive oil, lemon zest, savory herbs, and some zippy little spice or another, like chile flakes. You can try some whole garlic cloves, too, as well as chunks of sun-dried tomatoes. Grilled or marinated vegetables are also wonderfulâ€¦simply drizzle a few drops of balsamic vinegar over roasted red peppers or grilled baby onions for a delightful treat.
Unwrap cheese and arrange on a platter at least an hour before guests arrive. Don't crowd too many cheeses on your platter. Give them room to stretch out and breathe. In general, all rinds are edible, even those strange "brainy" rinds with spots of mold.
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