Holiday-inspired cheeseboards are quickly becoming one of my favorite things.
Whether I’m pulling together a late night snack, an easy lunch, or an appetizer for 20+ people, cheese boards are my choice for every occasion. You can seriously make some people very happy with a little variety of meat and cheese.
Like me. It makes me happy.
People always seem to be intimidated by cheeseboards, though. Maybe it’s because of all the components. Or the cost. But whatever it is, I wanted to show you how easy it is to throw a cheeseboard together, regardless of the occasion – even holidays. With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I thought what better way to show you how to use my simple process than creating a board fit for this holiday.
And despite what you are serving for dinner, your guests will love the addition of this festive charcuterie board. Paired with some irish mules and some Guinness, of course.
So, let’s begin.
First, create a theme. I know what you’re thinking. The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about this particular holiday and cheeseboards was most likely “green”. But you’d be wrong. It was actually “beer”. More specifically, Guinness. I also realized that after the numerous cheeseboards I’ve created, I’ve never once had a cheese dip. So, I immediately established that an Irish cheddar and Guinness fondue was going to be the star of the show.
Next, choose your board. I’ve used both round and rectangular wooden cutting boards before, but lately I’ve been loving this slate board I purchased a couple months ago. The next purchase on my list is going to be a marble board, but honestly, you don’t need anything fancy. Putting it on a cookie sheet would work just fine.
My favorite part of the entire process is choosing the cheese. Since I had already settled on the Irish cheddar and Guinness fondue as the star of the show, I wanted to keep the rest simple. A tried and true cheese favorite in my household is cheddar, and since my local Lidl had a nice Irish cheddar for a great price (I used the same cheddar in my fondue), the decision was simple.
Next came the green.
As I’ve mentioned before, part of the fun of having a cheeseboard is being able to nibble a variety of textures and flavors. Like salty. You can incorporate salty by adding gherkins, snapea crisps, and wasabi peas. All green. However, did you know that charcuterie is the French term for cold cooked meat? So what would a charcuterie board be without meat – and bonus, it adds more salt dimension. I wanted grilled sausage slices for the fondue, but I also wanted sliced corned beef. Because nothing screams “Irish” more than some corned beef.
At least to me it doesn’t.
I knew I couldn’t just serve fondue with sausage slices to dip in, so I compiled a list of everything I would dip into cheese. And used it all: crusty bread cubes, slightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and roasted rainbow potatoes.
This was turning out to be one of my favorite cheeseboards. Although, I probably say that about each new board I create. The only thing missing in this one?
To keep it simple in the sweets department and bringing in more green elements, I went with granny smith apples and green grapes. I kept the apples chopped fairly large so that you could dip them into the fondue. Which was such a great a idea, by the way. And last but not least, chocolate coins. It took me four stores to find these, but I eventually spotted them at Walmart in the party section. I’m glad I did because they tie the whole board together and completed the vision I had.
And practice makes perfect, folks. So go get yourself some cheese and create a spectacular cheeseboard. I swear you won’t be able to stop at one.
Irish Cheddar and Guinness Fondue
- 1lb. Irish cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 1/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 3/4 c. Guinness
- 1/4 c. & 2 tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
In a large bowl, toss the cheddar cheese and flour together until cheese is coated.
Bring the Guinness, apple juice concentrate, and Dijon mustard to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add half of the cheddar cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth. Repeat with the rest of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and place in the center of your platter with accompaniments surrounding.
Other cheeseboards I’ve created: