5 min read

Planning & Plating - Issue #57

Planning & Plating - Issue #57
Fresh Focaccia bread and butter board.

Happy Thursday!

Hello and a warm welcome to all our new subscribers - it's lovely to have you onboard and to be able to share different food presentation adventures with you on another platform besides YouTube.

A couple of weeks ago (Issue #55) I mentioned that I was planning a special meal for a family member we hadn't seen for about 15 years. I'll share more about how the meal planning came together and what we enjoyed below.

Also in this newsletter I will share my thoughts on the ever popular butter board. Recently I've seen this concept recreated into many different styles - even a loaded hummus board which I'll definitely need to try sometime soon.

In this issue:

  • Food presentation - A Special Dinner
  • Inspiration from my kitchen - I Tried The Butter Board Trend
  • In the pipeline - How To Build A Stunning Charcuterie Platter

Food Presentation - A Special Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned an upcoming special dinner, and I'm thrilled to report that it all came together beautifully. This was my chance to finally dive into the trend of butter boards, something I've been itching to try for a while (there's more about that below). Let me tell you, it set the perfect tone for our meal - a shared appetiser that felt both fancy and relaxed... just what I was aiming for. And the best part? It looked stunning without requiring hours of effort to assemble!

Moving on to the main course, as I mentioned previously I usually try to find the main meat component first and then decide on the accompaniments that will go well with it and look great together. So for this meal I found a reasonably priced leg of lamb and couldn't resist the opportunity to whip up a classic New Zealand roast lamb.

Instead of a plated main course, I opted for a more casual dining experience, with various dishes laid out and everyone could dish their own. Knowing our guests' fondness for New Zealand kumara, I made sure to include some roasted kumara alongside delightful little layered potato stacks baked in a muffin tin - a touch of elegance to elevate the humble roast potato. I also served a green garden salad to add freshness and colour to the table.

As the evening progressed, it was time to finish off the meal with a special plated dessert. I decided to make a decadent chocolate mousse cake paired with homemade pomegranate ice cream. To add a finishing touch, I garnished the plates with a berry compote, sprigs of mint, and delicate wisps of pale pink spun sugar that blended seamlessly with the pink pomegranate ice cream.

Putting it all together was fun, and seeing everyone gathered around the table, enjoying good food and even better company, made it all worthwhile. It's moments like these that remind me of the joy of sharing delicious food with loved ones, and I can't wait for the next opportunity to do it all over again.

Let me know if you'd like me to share any of the recipes I used 😄.

Inspiration From My Kitchen - I Tried The Butter Board Trend

Have you ever heard of a butter board? It's a delightful twist on the classic bread and butter starter, and it's perfect for kicking off a meal with style. Plus, it's way more affordable than a fancy charcuterie board, yet it still steals the spotlight as a stunning centrepiece.

Last weekend, I finally indulged my curiosity and made my first butter board. The great thing about it is there are no strict rules - you get to let your imagination run wild with what you have on hand to create a masterpiece, tailored to your taste preference.

For my butter board, I used butter (of course!) and I had some cream cheese in the fridge so I decided to add that too. They both need to be at room temperature for that perfect, creamy blend. I mixed them together with a fork, then spread the luscious mixture onto a large board, ready to be decorated with a medley of delicious flavours. Cherry tomato slices, caramelised red onions, fresh basil leaves, crumbled feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction made for a mouthwatering combination. I served slices of homemade focaccia bread alongside, and garnished the board with rosemary stalks and bright orange nasturtium flowers. It was a feast for the senses!

Reflecting on my butter board creation, I've already noted a few tweaks for next time:

  • A sprinkle of coarse salt on the butter would bring out the flavours. (I can't believe I forgot to do this!)
  • Spreading the butter a bit more rustically would amp up the visual appeal. The deliberate deep dips and ridges would look better.
  • I'd also add a sprinkle of toasted seeds or nuts for added crunchy texture.

Despite the room for improvement, crafting this butter board was as fun as it was to eat. I can't wait to experiment further and make some more with different flavour combinations.

If you've made your own butter board, I'd love to swap stories and hear about your delicious creations! 😃

In The Pipeline - How To Build A Stunning Charcuterie Platter

Here's a sneak peak to tell you about our up coming new video - I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Now, let me ask you something: have you ever found yourself scratching your head over how to put together a jaw-dropping charcuterie platter? You know, you've got all these amazing ingredients at your finger tips, but you're stuck wondering where to even start. Or maybe you're even unsure of which goodies to pick or how to arrange them to make a real showstopper of a board...?

Well, guess what? Our newest video is coming soon to rescue you from charcuterie confusion! We're packing it full of tips and tricks to boost your confidence and help you whip up your own spectacular charcuterie masterpiece. Keep an eye out for it in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, let me know what you've been enjoying making in your kitchen, or even something you've been struggling with and I'll try to answer it in a future newsletter 😄.

Happy cooking,