Cheese Party on a Budget
Your guests may love munching on cheeses at your cocktail parties, but you may not always love the cost of these savory refreshments! Get Fairway Market Cheese Monger Steven Jenkins's suggestions for building an elegant and budget-friendly cheese plate for your next gathering.
Manchego: This Spanish cheese is easy to find in supermarkets and gourmet food stores where selection should include several price points. Steven suggests looking for younger versions of the cheese, which can cost $7 to $9 per pound.
• How to serve: Remove the rind, cut it into 1/8 -inch thick pieces, and drizzle a good honey over the cheese. "Let people eat it with their hands!" Or, pair the cheese with fig jam or watermelon mostarda preserves. "It’s a real tart, thick, sweet and spicy jam."
Parmesan: "My whole career - 35 years - I’ve said there’s no substitutions for Parmigiano-Reggiano," Steven says, while admitting he has found domestic versions of the Italian cheese that have changed his mind. "This is made in Wisconsin and it's delicious! " "It costs you about $7 - $8 a pound, whereas Parmigiano costs you $16 - $18 a pound."
• How to serve: Cut in chunks and drizzle with any balsamic vinegar. "This is cool to do when your best friends are over and you’re having cocktails and you’ve cracked open a good bottle of wine," he explains, "Have little nuggets of this Parmesan from Wisconsin with a little bit of that balsamic drizzled over, it's just really good!"
Burrata: Steven also found a domestic version of this unique cheese from Puglia in Southern Italy. "It's mozzarella that’s wrapped around shreds of mozzarella curd and cream - cow's milk cream - so that when you cut it, it just oozes out!" Domestic borata costs about one third the price of the Italian version.
• How to serve: Top with grated pepper, drizzle with EVOO and dip with tomatoes and bread. Prep tomatoes by putting in the oven at 250 degrees for 30-45 minutes. "It intensifies all of their flavors, it's marvelous."
Wisconsin Cheddar: "Good old Wisconsin Cheddar is still just a great buy, I mean, that’s $4 a pound!" Steven says.
• How to serve: Top the cheese with Toronto Honey Cut Mustard or apple butter.
- latest show clips
- celebrity friends
- cooking videos
- rachael between the scenes
- backstage pass
- tips and stories
- be on the show
- set tour
- audience tickets
- rachael's bio
- what's rach wearing
- rach on the radio
- follow us on twitter
- join us on facebook