The easy banter between friends, reaching over each other to pass dishes and fill up wine glasses, celebrating something special or just celebrating being together - whatever it is you’re seeking, we’ve got some ideas to make your spring entertaining effortless this month.
All it takes is a little smart purchasing, some ground work before they arrive and you’ll have things humming in no time.
Let us help you get started. Charcuterie is the perfect choice because our chefs have done most of the work for you. We’ve lovingly transformed premium ingredients into restaurant quality products for you to enjoy at home.
When it comes to serving charcuterie there are a few simple guidelines we like to follow.
Classics are classic for a reason
Our classic Free Range Chicken Liver Pate, topped with a port & madeira jelly is a hit with adults and kids alike. So, you might just need more than one jar …
Which City Larder terrine? You’re spoilt for choice here. Again you can go classic - Free Range Pork & Pistachio – wow your guests with Duck & Prune Terrine or select spring favourite Free Range Chicken, Leek and Truffle Terrine.
Don’t forget a jar of the indulgent Free Range Pork Rillettes. Pork shoulder slow-cooked with aromatics then gently pulled apart and jarred with its own cooking juices. If you’ve not tried rillettes before, this is your lucky day.
Think of pickles and preserves as a fundamental part of the dish as opposed to the optional accompaniment. The richness of charcuterie – butter in pate, lard in rillettes and pork back fat in terrine – needs the final seasoning touches that condiments bring. Your slice of terrine is virtually naked without it.
From pickled onions and cornichons to fire-roasted peppers and naturally fermented olives (our choice for their more flavourful counterparts) a mix of these work well on your board. Naturally we like to always include City Larder's Traditional Pickled Onions, with their malt vinegar backbone, they provide the perfect punch to a charcuterie plate.
Something to Spread
Our chunky, spicy Apple, Currant and Stout Chutney is the best place to start. Add some hard cheese and you’re most of the way to a Ploughman’s Lunch. A really good mustard is also a must-have. You’re looking for that balance of flavours - sharp, sweet, spicy and a bit creamy – to pair back with the terrines, pate and rillettes.
Something to Spread on to
Char-grilled toast (dry pan, light brush of oil on your bread & keep an eye on it while it colours up) is a natural companion to all the charcuterie products. Their luxurious richness needs the slight bitterness of the char.
Char-grilled bread (now you know how to make it like a chef) plus some lavosh or our new perfectly crunchy Pita Crackers will bring it all together.
No such thing as too much cured meat!
Mix things up with some sliced cured meats: something spicy like a pork, fennel & chilli salami perhaps, something sweet like a little Prosciutto di San Daniele (nicely streaked with fat, the knuckle end carries more flavour & sweetness) as well as something a bit salty like Capocollo.
Another fan favourite is always mortadella; its smooth texture dotted with fat ensures this humble cured sausage is deserving of a place at your table.
Don’t eat meat? We’ve got you covered.
Our Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Terrine is a definite crowd-pleaser. The combination of Tasmanian Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, salt and lemon zest makes it a winner in our books. And here’s a little pro tip, serve it with some finely sliced cucumber, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a smear of horseradish cream to amp things up a notch.
Make up a plate of banderillas, a ubiquitous part of Spanish tapa. On a toothpick spear a boquerone (lightly marinated Spanish white anchovy) or Cantabrian anchovy, a guindilla (pickled pepper), an olive, a baby pickled onion and so on – you get the drift!
Feel like something zingy and fresh? Try Robbie’s take on the traditionally Peruvian dish of ceviche – Salmon Ceviche recipe
Go forth and entertain with ease this spring!
- Tags: anchovies, bruschetta, ceviche, ceviche recipe, charcuterie, chef, city larder, classic recipe, french classic, french cooking, peppers, robbie bell, spanish, tapas