There are few things we look forward to more than a good charcuterie board. Piled high with cured meats, a variety of multi-grain crackers, breadsticks or sliced artisan bread, roasted nuts, wedges of luscious cheese, dollops of sweet jams and spreads… It’s the perfect meal, mid-day snack or Disney+ binge accompaniment.
And with many restaurants closed, or at significantly decreased capacity, we are always looking for ways to spice up meals at home. Below, find out why we think you should opt for one of these tasty takes on the trend…
Fast Food Board
Maybe you’ve seen the midnight fast food buffets at weddings past, well think of this as your very own, from-the-comfort-of-home feast!
1. Head to the Rakuten Gift Card Shop, click on the Food & Dining category to get your gift card to fast food establishments like McDonald’s, Harvey’s, New York Fries, and restaurant-hub Uber Eats (just to name a few).
2. Take said gift card and buy burgers, chicken nuggets/fingers, fries, chicken sandwiches, tacos, tater tots, onion rings, hot dogs, chicken wings, veggie burgers – the options are basically endless!
3. Make it pretty on a platter, and dive in!
Don’t forget the condiments! Are you #TeamKetchup or #TeamMayo?
One version we’ve seen (and fully endorse, because #carbs) is the French fry platter. Piled high with fries and sauces from all the best drive-thrus, it’s 100% deep fried delicious.
This is our pick for a weekend indulgence or an easy weeknight dinner! Because breakfast for dinner is ALWAYS in style. Build-your-own breakfast boards make it easy for each person to make their meal just the way they like it!
We recommend choosing a staple “main” item, piling on the sides to compliment it and round-out the meal.
Main: Pancakes or Waffles
A classic! Whether you’re a buttermilk ‘cake crew or more of a Belgian basic brood, stack them up and serve alongside your favourite toppings and sides, like:
• Maple syrup
• Peanut Butter (warmed to make it melty!)
• Whipped cream
• Chocolate chips
• Caramelized banana
• ALL the berries
• Bacon and/or sausage
Pro-tip: Keep waffles or pancakes warm until serving in an oven set to low. Don’t take them out until everything is prepared and you’re ready to dig in!
Main: Bagels or Toast
Nothing says brunch quite like a good bagel or thick slice of sourdough. So simple, yet SO delicious.
Like most things, Pinterest is going to be your best bet when it comes to finding inspiration for your breakfast board. But here’s a list of toppings to transform your toast (or bagel):
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Breakfast sausage and/or bacon
• Sliced tomato
• Cream cheese
• Smoked salmon
• Red onion
• Orange wedges
• Peanut butter
• Jam or marmalade
Need to make a grocery run for ingredients? Make the first stop the Rakuten Gift Card Shop and pick up a gift card for your favourite grocery store or place your order via Innabuggy. You wouldn’t want to miss out on Cash Back!
This one is a great way to upgrade your #StayAtHome birthdays. This board is easy to assemble and a tasty surprise to celebrate a loved one. Simply cover your board or platter in their favourite treats, like:
• Mini-candy bars (or large ones cut into bite-sized pieces)
• Gummy candies
• Chocolate covered pretzels
• Candy-coated chocolates and/or nuts
• Sour gummies
• Jelly beans
• Candy-coated popcorn or caramel corn
• Animal crackers
• Cotton candy
• Hard candy
• Cinnamon hearts
• Milk/dark/white chocolate bar broken into chunks
• Cookies – any and ALL
Some of these, especially larger pieces, can go directly on the board. For others, you might want to fill bowls and place them on the board. Let people fill their own small container or paper bags for a fun pick’n’mix experience!
Baked Potato Board
Everyone’s favourite starchy carb gets its own board! This is a trend we’re starting to see pop up and we couldn’t be more excited. Crisp potatoes skins and warm, fluffy insides dressed up with a variety of savory toppings make an easy dinner or weekend lunch.
Large russet potatoes are ideal for baking. In terms of toppings, consider any of the following to stuff your spud:
• Sour cream
• Green onion
• Whipped butter
• Chili (hack: opt for canned or fast-food version vs. homemade)
• Shredded chicken/pork
• Steamed broccoli
• Bacon bits
• Cheddar cheese shreds
• Goat cheese
• Caramelized onions
• Fire-roasted corn
• Salt & pepper
As a bonus, the leftovers from this make a great addition to almost any other meal!
Pro tip: Don’t slice into the potatoes until you’re ready to eat! This keeps them warm and moist longer.
As you can probably guess, your charcuterie board is only limited by your imagination, so get creative and dig in! Make sure you tag us, @RakutenCA or use #CashBackCrew, if you take a pic …Cause it didn’t happen if you didn’t ‘gram it, right?