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Cheese Plate Your Way: Retro, Foodie, and Southern-Style

What does every holiday have in common? In my house, two things. A cheese board and champagne. Regardless of the season or what’s served for the main course, every celebration starts with a toast to the occasion and a delicious spread of cheese, meats, crackers, and an assortment of goodies from the pantry.

To make a tasty platter, you don’t need much. A quick trip around the cheese counter at your local Harris Teeter will ensure happy guests and full bellies. After perusing my Instagram feed, I realized the cheese board can be so much more!

If you’re inspired to take your holiday pre-game up a notch, here are a few tips:


Pick a theme

Below you’ll find ideas for a Retro, Southern, and Foodie inspired cheese board.  

Place your big items on the platter first

Meats and cheeses are the star, so make sure they get plenty of space. Cheeses that need to be sliced should be placed towards the edge.

Make something “homemade”

Dips, candied nuts, salsas and warm bread sticks are all welcome additions to a holiday cheese board.

Pile it high

Just when you think it looks full, add one more thing!


Retro Meat and Fondue Platter

Who doesn’t love fondue? Serve a warm pot of cheese along with salamis, little smokies, a classic cheese ball and fresh veggies for dipping. You won’t hear, “When’s dinner?” for awhile!


Featured Items:

  • Classic Cheese Fondue, see recipe below
  • Boar’s Head Salamis, sliced
  • Kaukauna Port Wine Cheese Ball
  • HT Trader’s Pimento Stuffed Olives
  • Farmer’s Market Ready Veggies Peeled Baby Carrots
  • Farmer’s Market Button Mushrooms
  • Harris Teeter Roasted Deluxe Mixed Nuts
  • Harris Teeter Original Golden Crackers


Classic Cheese Fondue Recipe
Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 16 ounces shredded swiss cheese or a preferred melting cheese (a soft cheddar also works well)
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. brandy
  • Ground Pepper and Fresh nutmeg


Directions:

In fondue pot on medium-heat setting, add garlic clove, juice from one lemon and white wine. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low. Add cheese by the handfuls, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, stir together the brandy and cornstarch until thoroughly mixed, then add to the cheese mixture and stir until you reach a smooth consistency. Stir in ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Adjust the heat setting to keep the fondue smooth, but not boiling.


Southern Meat and Cheese Spread

Smoked meats and cheese.  Pickled everything. Southern pecans. This is what a traditional Southern holiday charcuterie spread looks like!


Featured Items:

  • Candied Pecans, see recipe below
  • Simple Truth Organic Cracked Black Pepper Flavored Beef Jerky
  • Harris Teeter Premium Bacon, cooked
  • HT Trader’s Monumental Salt and Pepper Virginia Peanuts
  • HT Trader’s Cheddar Cheese Straws
  • Assorted smoked cheeses, such as gouda and cheddar
  • Harris Teeter Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
  • Talk O’ Texas Crisp Okra Pickles
  • Tillen Farms Crispy Pickled Carrots and Dilly Green Beans

Candied Pecans Recipe
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. Salt


Directions:

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans and stir to coat. Add in the brown sugar, rosemary and salt. Continue cooking until caramelized, about 5-6 minutes. Pour mixture out onto parchment paper and allow to cool completely before storing.


Foodie Charcuterie Board

Perfectly cured Italian meats and cheese flecked with truffles are just the beginning. A variety of specialty chocolates, in-shell nuts, and a selection of fruits will turn anyone in to a self-proclaimed foodie!


Featured Items:

  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce, see recipe below
  • Farmer’s Market Large Mixed Nuts
  • HT Trader’s Dark Chocolate, assorted varieties
  • Cured Italian meats such as prosciutto and sopressata
  • Assorted fine cheeses
  • A variety of fruits like strawberries, picchu berries, figs and grapes
  • HT Trader’s Specialty Water Crackers
  • HT Trader’s Mini Caramel Wafers


Cranberry Sauce with Chardonnay Recipe
Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup of water,
  • ½ cup of Chardonnay,
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of a lemon


Directions:

First, combine 12 ounces of fresh cranberries (so much less expensive than dried!), ½ cup of water, ½ cup of Chardonnay, ½ cup of sugar, a sprig of fresh rosemary, ½ cup of fresh lemon juice and the zest of a lemon.

Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.

Remove the rosemary sprig and with an immersion blender, blend until you get the consistency you desire.

If you don't have an immersion blender, process in a food processor or blender with the cap removed to allow hot air to escape. Cover the hole loosely with a towel to prevent splatters.

Allow the sauce to cool completely, then transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Katie Harding is the publisher of Forks and Folly . A self-taught cook and die-hard foodie, Katie lives in Charlotte with her husband and three boys. Besides cooking and eating, she loves craft beers, running, and napping.