Visitors come and go in the summer – and maybe they’re too hot and bothered for a full-on meal. For those instances, where just a pit stop is needed (not a pit BBQ!), this southern style charcuterie board comes to the rescue. I’ve arranged mine with deviled eggs, spiced crackers, pimento spread, pickled okra, millionaire’s bacon, my special cilantro shrimp recipe, and assortment of turkey and ham roll-ups. To wash it down, I toast ya’ll with a prickly pear inspired tequila drink I dreamed up, strolling through last week’s farmer’s market.
But first, here’s how to put together Jorj’s Southern Style Charcuterie Board
Turkey Roll Ups:
1 pound deli roasted turkey breast medium sliced
8 ounces goat cheese
¼ cup red pepper jelly
Ham Roll Ups:
1 pound deli ham medium sliced
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup spicy dill pickles, drained and finely chopped
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoon Dijon-Style mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 pound center cut bacon
1 cup brown sugar
1 sleeve soda crackers
½ cup butter, 1 stick melted
½ packet ranch dressing
3 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, about 1 cup
4 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese, about 1 cup
½ cup homemade or prepared mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
2 to 3 green onions, sliced, about 2 tablespoons
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 pound cooked shrimp
⅓ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
For Turkey Roll Ups: Combine the goat cheese and jelly. Spread about 1 tablespoon over a slice of turkey. Roll up and cut into ¼-inch slices.
For Ham Roll Ups: Combine the cream cheese and chopped pickles. Spread about 1 tablespoon over a slice of ham. Roll up and cut into ¼-inch slices.
For Deviled Eggs: Place the yolks of the eggs into a bowl. Use a fork to mash. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and dill. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place a spoonful of the filling into each of the egg whites.
For Millionaire’s Bacon: Preheat the oven to 350°. Dredge one slice of bacon through the brown sugar coating both sides. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the bacon is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.
For Seasoned Crackers: Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine the ranch dressing and butter. Place the crackers onto a baking sheet. Brush the top side of the crackers with butter. Bake until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.
For Pimento Cheese: Combine the cream cheese, cheeses, and mayonnaise in a bowl. Stir until the mixture is creamy. Add the pimentos, onions and spices and season with some of the salt and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Cilantro Shrimp: Stir together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder in a large bowl. Add the shrimp. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
And now to drink!!!
Here’s The Prickled Pink Cocktail – everything you need to mix one up for a friend. Isn’t it gorgeous? I honestly can’t believe that bright fuchsia color. The flavor is more subtle than you might think, and may need a bit of sweetening up. I suggest a teaspoon of honey. For garnish and extra flavor, whole cinnamon sticks make for a nice stirrer and look good in the glass.
Just do a yourself a favor and mind the outside of this cocktail fruit as you cut into it. They don’t call it a prickly pear for nothin’! Oh, and if at all possible, ask the guys at the farmer’s market to strip the cactus fruit of its serious spears before you buy it. I did and I still got pricked, but I’m glad I added it to my Saturday haul.
Cheers, everybody! It’s gonna be a long summer….
THE PRICKLED PINK
1 shot tequila
2 tablespoons grenadine
Juice of 4 prickly pears (blended to get rid of seeds)
Twist of lime
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
Top off with pineapple juice and mix with a cinnamon stick stirrer. Sugar around the rim optional