Courtesy of McCormick
The traditional charcuterie platter, with its mix of meats and cheeses and fruits and crackers, is nice – don’t get me wrong. However, now that we know how to make a “soul-cuterie”, we trade in the usual bites for cornbread, deviled eggs, catfish, red velvet cake and other very delicious and very southern bites that you didn’t know could be transformed in small samples for your next event.
In time for Black History Month, McCormick, the famed spice and food company, has teamed up with award-winning chef Millie Peartree, a passion for Southern cuisine, to bring you soulful platters. cuteness.
“A soul-cuterie board is just the way to get all your soul food, Southern food, delicacies in small forms,” she tells ESSENCE. “You have your little plate and you can sit it next to you during your game of cards and have your little chicken wing, your deviled eggs, your catfish nuggets. And I just feel like it is just an amazing way to bring people together because food is a conversation starter.
Although the idea came from McCormick, the ideas for offerings to serve on these boards came from the Southern cooking expert, who recommended everything from classic desserts like banana pudding in little jars to okra, mac and cheese and more.
“You know, soul-cuterie boards tell a story, just like a regular charcuterie board or a cheese platter,” she says. And that story could be that you entertain people who like a little sweet, a little salty, and a lot of homemade goodness. We asked Chef Millie for tips on how to have fun with soul-cuterie boards, and here are five things she says you can keep in mind, the most important of all being, have fun with it. .
You can do all savory, all sweet or both
In my soul-cuterie boards, I go a bit counter-clockwise because I’m inherently left-handed. I like to start with something salty and always keep something salty and sweet in the middle. I could start with something hot. I could start with something tastier. And then when you like your nuts, like your candied pecans, I’ll mix in cranberries or dried peaches or dried fruit with it. And then on the other side of the board, I can have like a red velvet cupcake or a whoopie pie or a banana pudding cake. So you can make them all salty, all sweet. But I like the combination of the mix because I’m a sweet-salty type girl. I like having both.
Healthier fare is welcome
[For example], if you don’t want catfish nuggets and catfish isn’t your thing, totally use mushrooms, same fish fry as Zatarain batter with Old Bay. This will give you the same crispy and crunchy consistency. You can use salmon, you can use chicken, and you don’t have to fry things. A lot of people love air fryers right now. I want people to own things. Even with vegetables, I like okra. I eat okra. I love okra. But if okra isn’t your thing, totally go for what you love. Carrots, broccoli, whatever, there are over 10,000 kinds of vegetables and I think we only eat about 100 of them. So there is something for everyone. Just do what you like, be sure to season with good McCormick seasonings and customize it. And that’s what soul food cooking is.
How to Make Everything Fit in a Soul-Cutery Board
Chop bite sized things, I would say about two inches, and like two bites. But again, there’s no right or wrong way to do what you love. If you want something bigger, expand it, but just make sure you do it with love and make sure you have a range of different things for all your guests on your soul-cuterie board.
Add height to your board
I like height on my food. You can add so much height to something or put it in a bowl over there and it adds that visual appeal. So if you see something stacked in the middle, like automatically when you look at something, you’re looking in the middle. So I feel like the middle is the center of the plate, which is the heart, which is love. Add things any way you like, or if you want to go the traditional soul-cuterie, charcuterie route, put things next to each other like you would bite them together. So let’s say for example, I’m going to make sure I have my dip next to my fish because, of course, I’m going to want to dive that way. I’m not going to want to reach across the board in barbecue sauce. I also have dried fruits. If you have like collard green spring rolls, I like to add dried peaches or something sweet to counter the bitterness of this one.
Most importantly, have fun with your food
I’m just saying eat whatever you want. There’s no right and wrong way to do it. You can use my technique or not, but own things, have fun with them, eat them, have a good time and you know, live them.
For recipes for making the treats on these soul-cuterie boards, head to McCormick’s website.