This post has been kindly sponsored by Cello Cheese. All opinions and ideas are my own. #CelloCheeseHoliday
Hello, easy and delicious! If you are looking for an impressive and tasty party recipe for snacking, this Gourmet Cheese Board with Homemade Bacon Jam is perfect. Created with a selection of gourmet cheese from Cello and a recipe for bacon jam, this appetizer idea is great for holiday entertaining. In this post, we will walk through how to create an amazing cheese board with a little bit of city and a little bit of country.
Cheese Board + Homemade Bacon Jam
What I love the most about putting together a gourmet cheese board is you can make it 100% your own. From the cheeses to the meats and add-ons, you can create a customized appetizer with all of your favorite items. For us, we love a little bit of gourmet with simple, rustic elements.
The easy part? The cheese. We picked up a Cheese Flight board from Cello cheese at our local Publix. Cello makes creating a cheese board easy with a hand-selected trio of delicious cheeses. Look for this combination in the Specialty Cheese section.
- Copper Kettle Parmesan – This rich and nutty cheese is handcrafted using a traditional copper vat for a one-of-a-kind flavor.
- Gruyere-Inspired Altu – An earthy cheese with notes of fruit, this is a complex and aromatic cheese inspired by Gruyere from the Swiss Alps.
- Tuscan Rubbed Fontina – My personal favorite, this creamy and mild cheese is made using fresh milk. Each wheel of this fontina is hand-rubbed with a classic blend of Italian herbs and spices.
How to Create a Delicious (and Beautiful) Cheese Board:
- On a slate board, wooden block, or large serving platter, arrange the cheese varieties. Cheese is the most important thing in the presentation. To make slicing and serving easier, a flat surface works best.
- Next, layer in a selection of meats. We picked a dry Italian sausage and thinly sliced proscuitto.
- To serve the Cello cheese and meats, nothing beats a selection of crackers, toasted bread, and gourmet chips. This is a great way to add texture and color to your cheese board. We used a combination of whole grain baked chips, roasted sea salt beet chips (for color!), and mini bruschetta toasts.
- Add a colorful selection of fruits. You can use fresh or dried. We opted for gorgeous red seedless grapes and sweet, dried apricots. With the salty cheese and meats, the sweetness of fruit adds another surprise flavor to the cheese board.
- Great for snacking and perfect with gourmet cheese, roasted nuts are an ideal addition to any cheese board. We picked two of our favorites, pecans and almonds.
- Time for the unexpected: the relishes, garnishes, and jams. For a bold pop of flavor, we used our Homemade Cranberry Sauce and Homemade Bacon Jam (get the recipe at the end of this post).
- To give your cheese board a little holiday flair, add fresh rosemary sprigs. You can also use flowers, holly leaves, and other herbs.
This Cheese Board featuring Cello Cheese is so fun and delicious, you will have a hard time resisting all of the yummy items. Cello Cheese Flight offers a worry-free way to discover and try new ﬂavors – even a novice cheese lover can delight families and guests with perfect pairing at a great value. Cheese boards are great for:
- Last minute entertaining
- No-bake party food
- Holiday parties and family gatherings
- Christmas Day snacking
How to Make Bacon Jam:
You are going to love this easy sweet + savory recipe for Bacon Jam. It is great with cheese and crackers and is a crave-worthy addition to any Cheese Board. Get the complete ingredient list in the recipe at the bottom of this post.
- Cook bacon until crispy. Crumble or chop and set aside. You can leave the pieces large for a more rustic feel, or crumble into smaller pieces. Totally up to you.
- Caramelize sliced onions low and slow until they are golden and delicious.
- Stir in brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water and spices.
- Fold in the bacon, and simmer until thick and delicious.
TIP: To get the best flavor possible, cook the onions low and slow. You want them to caramelize for that sweet-onion flavor that pairs great with the salty, crisp bacon.
You can certainly serve your Cheese Board with purchased jellies, jams, and relishes. If you have the time, this Homemade Bacon Jam is worth it. Everyone will be begging you for the recipe.
More Tips to Create an Amazing Cheese Board:
- Use a flat surface to make serving and slicing easier.
- Choose colors from a similar color palette to make the cheese board look put together.
- Repeat flavors with different items (salty, savory, sweet).
- Add unexpected items such as relishes and jams so guests can create their own cheese tasting experience.
- Highlight the season you are in by adding fresh herbs, leaves, flowers, and seasonal elements.
- Don’t overthink it. Pick up a packaged Cheese Flight combo from Cello for a crowd-pleasing cheese board.
Homemade Bacon Jam
This sweet, tangy + savory recipe for homemade bacon jam is great for cheese boards. Serve with your favorite cheese, meats, and crackers for a one-of-a-kind appetizer that no one can resist.
- 1.5 pounds hickory smoked bacon thick cut
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 yellow onions large, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar PLUS
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt divided, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha optional, more or less to taste
Cook bacon until crisp and drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Crumble or chop the bacon to desired size and set aside. (I like to cook my bacon in the oven on a broiler pan with catch pan at 375 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes.)
In a stainless steel skillet or sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Stir in the sliced onions, minced garlic, and half of the sea salt. Stir and cook until the onions start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the onions caramelize and cook for 25 minutes.
Stir in the water, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, remaining salt, and spices.
Fold in the bacon and increase heat to a low boil, stirring frequently. Cook and stir for 2 - 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture has thickened and reduced to desired jam-like consistency, about 20 minutes.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold with your favorite cheese, meats, crackers and more for a delicious appetizer or snack.
This recipe will serve about 16 (two tablespoons per serving). The nutritional information is only for the bacon jam and does not include the other items shown on the cheese board.