13 Sep Smart Solutions Spotlight | Easy Entertaining with Boards

Posted at 15:26h in Recipes by Frieling

 

Easy Entertaining with Boards

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There is something about nibbles and grazing that puts everyone in a good mood. When I look at an abundant colorful board full of great things to eat, it literally makes me feel like something special is happening. How many of you agree with me? I’ll bet that is everyone!

These days “boards” are so popular that anything goes. That means any day part, any favorite food, favorite snack, or favorite occasion can be presented on a board.

 

 

1. Mango Serving Paddle 23” x 7.5” Wholesale $34.50, suggested retail $64.95

2. Acacia Serving Disc 9.5″- 12.5” Wholesale $26.00, suggested retail $49.95

3. Acacia Board 10.25” x 6.75” Wholesale $10.00, suggested retail $19.95

4. Acacia Board 16.5” x 11” Wholesale $24.00, suggested retail $47.95

 
With a spotlight on culinary creativity and entertaining with boards, Frieling is running a promotion for the boards through September 30, 2022. You will receive 20% off each case pack that you buy.


In addition to the Classic think about the following types of boards:

Mini Breakfast Board—what could be more fun than serving yourself or everyone in the house their own mini board using the ZASSENHAUS snack board made from Acacia wood—a dark hardwood from a sustainable cultivation. It’s a great choice for daily use.

Italian-ish Melon and Prosciutto Board—a.k.a. Monika‘s board. Monika Schnacke, [CEO of Frieling] inspired this board. I chose the gorgeous natural Mango Wood serving board with a handle to present these fresh and colorful melons, Italian cured meats, Parmesan-Reggiano and other yummies. I love the rough edge that shows the bark of the tree—it is a unique wood from a sustainable cultivation.

 

Dip Board—this can be as simple or as elevated as you want it to be. Pimento cheese, Spinach-Artichoke, Yogurt-Dill, Blue Cheese Dip, even French onion dip…My homemade Buttermilk Ricotta Cheese Dip (recipe below) is unexpected and one of my favorites. As you can see, the round slice of Acacia wood is stunning on the table. This round board can be used for so many things and I really love that it is a slice of natural Acacia wood—it’s almost too pretty to cover up with food!

 

 

No-cook Brunch Board—this is the perfect thing to set out for a weekend company. You don’t have to cook anything, and almost everything comes from the grocery store. My favorite Sunday brunch is smoked salmon and so my No-cook Brunch Board is filled with my favorite smoked salmon/deli treats including mini Black & White Cookies!

When I was dreaming up the foods to include on my entertaining boards for this newsletter, I knew that a simple board featuring my recipe for homemade Buttermilk Ricotta Cheese was going to be one of them. It’s easy and takes a lot less time than some of the more elaborate boards but still looks and tastes special. Because I wanted the ricotta cheese to be the center of my board, I chose the round slice of acacia wood. But any of the Frieling boards will work—even the mini snack board.

 

 

Elizabeth’s Buttermilk Ricotta Cheese Dip

I have a lot of friends who make this ricotta cheese for their homemade lasagna but I have to be honest, I only make this cheese to serve as a dip. It is a very easy recipe and the flavor and texture is so much better than store-bought ricotta that I urge you to make it yourself.

It is also a fun experiment to make with kids and an easy way to make a fresh cheese at home.

Ingredients:

 

3      cups whole milk

1 ½  cups buttermilk

1      cup heavy cream

¼     teaspoon kosher salt

For Serving:

Fleur de sel or Pink sea salt, about 1/8th teaspoon

 

1-2   tablespoons of olive oil

1-2   stems of fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, basil, or herbs de provence

        Zest of ½ lemon or orange

        Favorite crackers or crusty bread

Place milk, buttermilk, cream and salt in a non-reactive heavy duty saucepan over medium heat.  Slowly bring contents to a gentle simmer.  As the milk solids begin to separate from the whey, give it a stir and bring it back to a gentle simmer.  When you see steam rising and solid chunks forming, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for about 30 minutes.

 

Line a strainer with folded-over cheesecloth or unbleached muslin.  (I prefer the muslin which is not as gauzy as cheesecloth and sometimes sold as cheesecloth. If you don’t have either, you can use paper towels but will need to change the paper towels.)  Using a ladle, spoon the ricotta into the cheesecloth until all of the curds and the whey are in the strainer.  Place one layer of the cloth over the cheese.  It will strain quickly at first.  The longer you let it sit, the drier and more concentrated the cheese will become.  Strain cheese for 1-2 hours.  I personally like it when almost all of the liquid is strained out and it has the texture of a fresh creamy cheese—not the grainy store bought texture that we are used to.   Taste and make sure you like to consistency and texture.   At this point you can place in the refrigerator covered for up to 2 days.

 

Just before serving, place in a decorative bowl and make a well in the center. Sprinkle with salt. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of best quality olive oil.  Remove leaves from herbs and sprinkle leaves around the top of the ricotta cheese.  Sprinkle zest around the top of the ricotta cheese.  Serve with favorite crackers or crusty bread.

 

NOTE: In addition to the gorgeous wood boards that I used to make my entertaining boards I also used the following items from Frieling:

Champagne sealer, Wine sealer, the most gorgeous cheese knives that I’ve ever seen made by Cillio, a Parma cheese knife, and my favorite cheese tool of all the Parma cheese plane. The old-fashioned cheese plane is great for any block of cheese because it literally shaves off the perfect amount of cheese in the perfect thickness for snacking or topping a cracker.

 

Have a great month filled with Easy Entertaining and I’ll see you back in my kitchen soon!

 

 

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