How to Make the Perfect Cheeseboard + Recipes

January 20th is National Cheese Lovers Day an Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market has a way to make the Perfect Cheeseboard. The cheese mongers at Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market are passionate about their jobs, and it shows in our incredible selection of hand-cut gourmet cheeses from around the world. With unique varieties, cheesy recipes and decadent wine pairings, Balducci’s is THE place to help you celebrate properly.

Suggested Cheeses for your Cheeseboard

Alp Blossom: Produced and aged at Sennerei Huban in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, this cow’s milk pasteurized cheese ages for six months, then completes its delectable adventure in the caves at Kaeskuche in Bavaria, where the cheese is covered in a combination of dried edible flowers and herbs pulled from the surrounding Alpine meadows. Needs a pair with…. You can use dried fruits or roasted nuts.

Grana Padano: Produced by Farm 359 in the province of Placenza, the name “grana” means “grainy,” which describes the texture of this cheese, originally created by monks in the 12th century. Pair with peppered salami.

3-Year Aged Canadian Cheddar: Aged to perfection, this Cheddar is extra rich, sharp and creamy. It’s delicious on savory crackers. Pair with fresh fruit, raw vegetables and oil-cured olives.

Make the Perfect Cheeseboard for National Cheese Lovers Day

Cheesy Recipe Ideas:

Marinated Seared Halloumi Bites

Ingredients:

  • Halloumi 35.25 oz (4 each)
  • Lemon Juice 3 oz
  • Olive Oil 2 oz
  • Garlic, peeled, rough chopped .2 oz (1 clove)
  • Mint, rough chopped .2 oz
  • Basil, rough chopped .2 oz
  • Black Pepper, ground .025 oz

Directions:

1. Combine garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, basil and black pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

2. Drain the liquid from the packages of halloumi.

3. Slice each piece of halloumi in half (width-wise), then cut each slice in half into 2 triangles.

4. Mix the halloumi with the marinade mixture, making sure to coat each piece well.

5. Wrap and place in the refrigerator, labeled and dated.

6. Marinate the halloumi cheese overnight (keeping in cold holding under 40F).

7. Remove the cheese from the marinade.

8. Heat a medium non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat (a flat top can also be used). Once heated, pour approx. 1 oz of canola oil in the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray.

9. Pat dry each piece of halloumi cheese before placing it in the pan. Place the halloumi in the heated pan.

10. To prevent the cheese from sticking, move the pan around intermittently.

11. Once the cheese is golden brown on one side, flip to sear on the other side.

12. Remove the cheese from the pan once it’s seared and golden brown on both sides.. Place in the refrigerator on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper until cooled below 40F.

13. Garnish with sprigs of mint and basil and serve.

Baked Apple Brie with Caramelized Onions, and Bacon

Ingredients

  • One 14 Ounce Round Brie or 2 or 3 Small Whole Brie
  • 3 Delicious Apples
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
  • 1/2 Stick Butter Plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 4 Slices Cooked Bacon, Crumbled
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1 French Bread Baguette, Sliced
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter, Melted, for the Crostini

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a saute pan. Add the cardamom. Slice apples into thin slices and saute until the apples caramelize, around 10 minutes. Remove apples from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the remaining butter and melt it. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, toasted pecans and crumbled bacon.

3. Place the brie(s) on an ovenproof serving platter. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture over the top of the brie. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and top with the caramelized apples.

4. Serve with French bread crostini

Crostini:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Place sliced French bread on a large cookie sheet. Brush each piece with melted butter.

2. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove and store in a zip lock bag. May be made the day before serving.

Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 6-8, Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound of penne pasta
  • 1/4 Pound of imported Parma Ham, sliced 1/4 inch thick (The Balducci’s Deli associate will be happy to do this for you.)
  • 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Sticks sweet butter
  • 1 Cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Quart milk (whole milk preferred, but you can substitute with a 2% fat milk), heated
  • 1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1-2 Teaspoon Drops of Truffles Truffle oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil; add in 4 tbs of salt. Cook Penne pasta al dente following manufacturer’s instructions. Drain in a colander and refresh cooked pasta with cold water. Drain well.

2. Cut the 1/4 inch thick sliced Parma ham into 1/4 inch dice.

3. Heat a 1 quart sauce pan with vegetable oil and add in diced Parma ham, sauté slowly over medium heat until you have rendered the Parma ham fat out, remove caramelized dice Parma ham with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

4. Add 1 stick of butter to the Parma ham fat and when melted stir in Panko breadcrumbs, mix well to incorporate all flavors. Set aside for later.

5. In a 1 gallon sauce pan add in remaining butter and melt; add in flour to form a roux. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the roux start to turn a light golden brown color.

6. Slowly whisk in the heated milk and continue whisking for 10 minutes until a smooth sauce is formed and all of the flour taste is gone.

7. Lower the heat to low and start whisking in the shredded cheeses a little at a time to form a cheese sauce. Add in thyme and 1 tsp of Truffle oil (feel free to add more Truffle oil in to get to your taste preference). Add in cooked Parma ham and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

8. Fold in the cooked penne and mix gently to incorporate all ingredients.

9. Grease a 9 inch x13 inch oven safe dish with cooking spray, add prepared Penne pasta into dish and top with prepared Japanese breadcrumbs.

10. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. To finish the dish drizzle the breadcrumb topping with a little more Truffle oil.

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