Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Book Club Cheese and Fruit Plate

Last fall I hosted my book club for a brunch, and it was my turn again, only this time on a Monday night.

My approach had to be different - what could I serve with wine that is satisfying and easy enough for me to throw together after work on a Monday and so I can enjoy the meeting too?

A cheese plate with fun accompaniaments, "mojito" water and wine was simple, delicious and I do hope popular. Thanks to everyone for coming, and I hope you enjoyed everything!

The Ultimate Fruit and Cheese Plate:
(not exactly a recipe, but it serves 6-8)

3-4 varieties of cheese - I used a triple-cream brie, a creamy roquefort, a semi-soft cheese (forgot to write down what it was, but was mild and creamy with an orange rind) and finally goat cheese that I rolled in crushed dried tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper.
Mixed seedless grapes
Dry roasted salted almonds
Cornichons (baby gherkin pickles)
Medley of olives
Pinot Grigio-Cured hard salami from Trader Joe's
Assorted crackers and oven-warmed french bread

On the side/dessert:

Fresh strawberries
Dark chocolate - 72% cacao
Razz cherries (dried cherries infused with raspberry essence)

To drink:
"Mojito" water (fresh mint leaves and lime wedges in ice water)
White and red wines

Spread out food onto platters/plates/bowls, open wine, serve and enjoy!


Peabody said...

I would have enjoyed it!

lululu said...

Hm......how wonderful a gathering meal it was!
Would've definitely enjoyed it!

Lis said...

That's the kind of gathering that I enjoy the most!

Great selection of tastes and textures! And I love the idea of the mojito water, I'm going to try that! =)


Kelly-Jane said...

I would have liked that too, the three types of grapes make it so pretty.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Oh yeah! Looks fabulous on the plate, and all you had to do was purchase the goodies and lay them out in an appealing fashion. THAT is my kind of entertaining!

Anonymous said...

Great presentation!

Inquiring minds want to know, what wines did you serve? (OK, and I like your taste in wine.)

BTW, I do live in the Phoenix area.


Anonymous said...

Nice selections! What are you guys reading? :)

janelle said...

If I read the book, can I come too?

Kirsten said...

Hi Peabody & Lululu, you both are always invited. :)

Thanks Lis!!! The mojito water is so good for summer.

Thanks Kelly-Jane and Farmgirl Cyn - and thanks for your comments!

Maureen - thank you! We had a Wiens Family Cellars Sangiovese (Temecula) from a girl in my book club who just got married and bought the wine during her bachelorette weekend in Temecula. We also had a cheap and cheerful Zirafa Sav Blanc from Trader Joe's and a Pinot Blanc from TJ's too. Oh...and a Tempranillo from TJ's. And one of our book club members brought a Marq Sav Blanc. Delicious all around!!

Thanks Robin! We just read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami...Ryan Gosling (dreamy) recommended it, but we did NOT like it. Sci-fi is not our thing. We are next reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (author of Kite Runner) which we hear is a much better book. :)

Janelle - you are always invited. Half the time I don't read the book at all, but the secret to our book club is to show up bearing wine...they never turn you away!

Anonymous said...

I think the semi-soft cheese with the orange rind might be port salut.

Kirsten said...

TJ - you are my hero. I think that IS what that cheese was. Thanks!!!

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