Tis the season to rejoice with family and friends. It’s that special time of year where we share stories of grand achievements, embarrass our relatives, and reminisce about the good ol’ times- while having a good ol’ time.
Once the dust settles and the chatter is expensed, it’s time to gather at the dinner table and fill our tummy’s up with all our favorite traditional holiday dishes. From mashed potatoes, apple pies, eggnog, to even hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and candy canes; the list goes on.
Let’s not forget the gingerbread house which remains one of the main staples in the holiday dish repertoire. However, this time we’re throwing a spin on what you would call your typical idea of a gingerbread house.
Meat lovers will be happy to know there’s a dish that will rock their world this holiday season- a Charcuterie Chalet!
Charcuterie is a style of cooking that involves an assortment of prepared meats. It is derived from the French term “chair cuit” which means “cooked flesh.” Examples of meats used for exquisite charcuterie meals include pork products such as bacon, ham, and sausage.
To complement the savory taste of the meats, it is suggested that you also combine it with select cheeses such as gouda, gruyere, brie, burrata, and sharp cheddar.
Don’t know where to start? We got you covered!
Next up, we’ll provide you with all the ingredients necessary to create this tasty meal-house that is guaranteed to satisfy your carnivorous cravings.
- 2 batches Cheesy Cracker Dough
- Four 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- Two 5-ounce containers of herb and garlic cheese, such as Boursin, at room temperature
- One 6-ounce package of sliced pepperoni
- 4 ounces sliced yellow Cheddar, cut into pepperoni-size rounds with a biscuit cutter
- 4 ounces sliced white Cheddar, cut into pepperoni-size rounds with a biscuit cutter
- 16 sugar snap peas, blanched, plus more for serving
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 pretzel rods
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 thin slices watermelon radishes, cut into 2-inch squares
- 4 thin celery sticks, plus more for serving
- 14 broccoli florets, blanched, plus more for serving
- 2 bocconcini mozzarella balls
- 1 black olive, halved
- 1 strip roasted red pepper
- 1 tiny carrot stick (about 1/2 inch long), plus medium carrot sticks, for serving
- 2 black sesame seeds
- 2 green beans
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan
- biscuit cutter
- pizza wheel (optional)
- a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip
Now that we’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients, here are the easy steps to follow in order to make your very own charcuterie!
- Templates: Retrieve several sheets of stiff paper such as manila paper or strong construction paper. Proceed to cut a 4-by-7-inch rectangle for the wall panel template. The front and back panel template requires that you cut a piece that is 6 inches wide at the base, 4 inches high to the roofline, and 4 1/2 inches slanted to a peak. Cut a 5-by-8-inch rectangle for the roof panel template.
- Roll the dough: This is where the magic happens. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment. Cut the cheddar cracker dough into exactly 3 equal pieces. Make sure to work with one piece of dough at a time and keep the other pieces refrigerated. Roll the dough into a rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
- Scraps around the cutouts: Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, cutting out 2 roof panels from the second piece of dough and 2 side panels from the third. Discard the dough scraps or reroll to make cookies. Chill the dough pieces on the baking sheets for roughly 15 minutes.
- Poke the dough all over: Use the tines of a fork to poke the dough to keep it from shrinking in the oven. Score the side panels to resemble bricks. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt to give it a good consistency.
- Bake the dough: Bake until golden and crisp all the way through, about 20 minutes. Cool on the pans for 10 minutes on a rack, then remove the pieces to the rack to cool completely.
Now it’s time to assemble the house together.
Gather the cream cheese, herb, and garlic cheese in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat with a paddle until the substance is smooth and fluffy, so about 3 minutes. Transfer half of it to a pastry bag and then reserve the rest for serving
Use the cream cheese mixture as your glue when building the house.
Plan out your outline for the base of the house on a large serving platter or cutting board. Move and stand the front and back panels upright so that it sticks to the cheese and does not fall apart. Feel free to add more cheese to the corners and where the sides meet to reinforce the house.
Make sure to attach the two roof panels along the seems of your front and back panels so that it can stick adequately. Starting from the bottom, start to decorate the tiles of the roof with different meat patterns of your liking.
Try to stick to light meats so as to not topple your roof with too much weight.
You can also start decorating your front and back of the house with cheeses, veggies, and event meats to give it its main aesthetic. It’s recommended to use pretzels as pillars to keep the house in stable shape. Keep using the cream cheese as glue.
For the surrounding features, you can use the bell peppers to create a sled!
The bocconcini is stacked on top of each other and get secured with a toothpick to create a snowman. Use an olive half as a hat, wrap a roasted pepper scarf, and attach a tiny piece of carrot for the nose and sesame seeds for eyes.
Finally, the walkway to the door is prepped with the remaining meat and cheese.
Border the path with broccoli bushes and spread the parmesan snow over the serving platter. Add the remaining vegetables and cheese mixture to top it off.
And there you have it! You can mix and match at this point to fit your own creative goals.
Take a look at some of these varied styles of charcuteries.
This build uses salami for the roof and pretzels for the front window. The almond shaving walkway to the front door is too adorable to ignore!
As for this meat lover’s delight, why not go the extra mile and stockpile your house with all the meats possible! The prosciutto ham fills the main build of the house while sausage chorizo layers the roof.
This one is sure to steal the spotlight on Christmas dinner!
No matter your seasonal traditions, you can rely on this recipe to take your taste buds to new heights. The charcuterie will demand all attention from all who lay eyes on it- just make sure nobody steals it for themselves in plain sight.
Let us know what your style is and feel free to share this recipe with all who wish to turn heads this coming holiday season.
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