John and I had the most wonderful wine and cheese night, I thought I would share with you some of the delicious cheeses, meats and breads we enjoyed.
John really was the head chef and master mind of the whole thing. He prepared the bread, and artistically arranged the platters in a manner I am simply not capable of.
WINE AND OLIVES
Wine and olives are a must for a charcuterie night. We chose red wine for the occasion, accompanied with sun-dried tomato olives.
John cut French bread into slices and basted them with olive oil and either herbs du province or za’atar. The bread was served with our four pepper jelly we purchased in Louisiana, or dipped In fig balsamaic vinegar and olive oil.
John did such a wonderful job arranging the meats. We had Canadian prosciutto, cappricollo and mortadella. Mortadella is like fancy bologna, and I adore my fancy bologna. We also wrapped cheese with the prosciutto and baked it in the oven. It was good, but we found that we preferred the uncooked version.
The cheese had to be the highlight of our evening. We tried a couple of interesting varieties. We started with the aged Prima Donna, a strong and salty cheese. We spoiled ourselves with the cave-aged swiss gruyere. Yes, it was actually aged in a cave. John has been caving before, so I was wondering if he thought it tasted like cave. I was disappointed when he said it didn’t. He said don’t be disappointed, you wouldn’t want it to taste like cave anyways.
The best (and today’s recipe) was John’s apple wood smoked cheddar. We purchased a block of the best old cheddar we could find at Costco, and John cold-smoked it for an hour with apple wood. He cut it into pieces, dusted it with paprika and vacuum packed the pieces. After ageing for about 2 weeks, it boasts a subtle smokiness that accents the cheese just right.
- If you don’t have a cold smoker, this can be done with the A-MAZE-N tube smoker
- We like a subtle smoke flavour, and John smokes the cheese for an hour. If you want a smokier flavour, you can smoke it for longer. But be careful, if you smoke too long, you will experience a bitter tarry flavour that is no good at all
- Make sure you cold smoke your cheddar on a cooler day so the cheese doesn’t melt in the heat of the sun. Alternatively, you can put a block of ice in your smoker.
- The quality of the cheddar will affect your final product. Opt for the best white cheddar you can find in your budget
- Once vacuumed pack, the smoked cheese will keep in your fridge for months. Alternatively, wrap inn saran wrap
There is nothing like home-smoked cheddar to make your charcuterie night extra special!
Click here to view printable word version of recipe:
John’s Applewood Smoked Cheddar
John’s Applewood Smoked Cheddar
YOU WILL NEED:
Block of extra-old white cheddar, the best quality you can buy
A cold smoking device, such as a Bradley smoker or an A-MAZE-N tube smoker
Applewood (or Applewood pellets for the A-MAZE-N tube smoker)
Vacuum packer or saran wrap
Be sure to smoke your cheese on a cool day so the heat of the sun doesn’t melt it. If not, put a block of ice in your smoker.
Light smoker as per directions
Smoke block of cheese for one hour. If you are using the amazing tube smoker, smoke in a barbecue. Have the barbecue off and place the tube smoker on the opposite side of your cheese.
Cut cheese into blocks. Dust with paprika.
Vacuum pack or saran wrap blocks.
Let age for two weeks in refrigerator.
Don’t over-smoke, or your cheese will have a bitter, tarry flavour.