Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anatomy of a Spanish Cheese Plate

I know what you're thinking. Another Cheese Plate, Sam? You got it. If you've been following NK closely, you'll know that Cheese Plates are my fave, and with Thanksgiving just behind us (I may still be full) I thought I'd share my latest. Last year's plate was French-Inspired (check it out HERE) so this year, I reverted back to Spanish Cheeses to mix it up a bit. I'm thinking my next effort will be an all American rustic style Cheese platter. When I do it, you'll be first to know. 

Spanish Cheese Plate, Photo: NK

This Season's Cheese Plate (designed for milder palates), plus a tray of Truffle Tremor, Soppressata and Pepper Jelly Crostini (recipe HERE) and Eric Ripert's delicious Caramelized Onion and Olive Croustade (recipe HERE), all flew off their plates. But all that food was only a prelude. As usual, my Mother-in-law outdid herself with an amazing Thanksgiving meal. Delicious desserts baked by my cousins followed soon after. I hope everybody had a similarly great time with family and friends!

NK's Spanish Cheese Plate

The Cheeses
*Cheeses pictured above in clockwise order beginning from the grapes
Valdeon - Blue, Creamy mix of Cow and Goat milk wrapped in sycamore leaves, medium strong 
Garrotxa (pronounced gar-roch-ha) - semi firm Goat, mild
Roncal - firm Sheep, slightly pungent 
Ibores - semi firm Goat with an orange-colored rind, mild
Queso de Murcia (Drunken Goat) - semi firm Goat with purplish wine-washed rind
Mahon - semi firm Cow, slightly pungent and caramel-flavored

*For more information on many of these cheeses check out:

Garnishes & Additions 
Thyme Sprigs
Forelle Pears 
Empire Red Apple
Italian Parsley
Medjool Dates
Black Grapes 
Blackberries or any other in-season Berry

Optional/Not Pictured:
Membrillo - a delicious Quince Paste that comes in a firm jelly form and can be cubed.
Fig Cake - available in specialty food stores and comes a sliceable round.
Marcona Almonds - usually pricey, but a lovely addition if you'd like to add nuts.


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