Pâté is a traditionally decadent food, ideal for the season’s celebrations of food and family. A well-crafted pâté board will please even the pickiest of eaters by allowing your guests to customize their selection. Best of all, it’s easy to set up.
Here’s how to make a crowd-pleasing pâté board just five easy steps:
1. Choose Your Pâtés
Your pâtés will be the star of your board, and everything else should work in harmony to enhance the rich flavors.
We suggest offering a selection of pâtés that showcase a variety of flavor profiles and textures.
For instance, a country-style pâté has a coarse texture, with herb-infused, gamey flavors that can be cut into cubes and served with toothpicks. Our Chicken and Veal Pâté is encrusted with mustard seeds and pairs nicely with mustards, dried fruits, and nuts. Our Campagne Pâté is our most versatile country-style pâté and pairs with almost anything, including mustards, pickles, and chutneys.
Our Duck Rillette, however, has a more shredded texture, and a special seasoning blend that pairs well with smoked cheeses, or as an indulgent, standalone bite.
Our mousses offer a lighter, creamier consistency that is easy to spread, and perfect for pairing with condiments, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheeses. The Spiced Apple Mousse is a seasonal favorite, with hints of apple brandy and apple pie spices.
And if your family has vegetarian, vegan or diet-conscious diners, our tempting vegetable and vegan terrines are a great way to round out the selection. Even your most carnivorous guests will appreciate the refreshing vegetable medleys that come to play in our terrines.
2. Choose Your Cheese
When you offer a variety of pâté, you also need a variety of cheeses. One of the most exciting parts of a pâté board is allowing your guests to experiment with different combinations. We suggest choosing cheeses from different categories, such as:
? Smoked cheeses, such as smoked provolone, gouda and gruyere. The smoky, nutty taste pairs well with our pâté, complementing each other without losing their nuance.
? Sharp cheeses, like cheddar. The sharp, salty flavors cut through the gaminess of our country-style pâtés to provide a delightful contrast of flavors.
? Soft cheeses like brie or chevre. These cheeses add a creamy component to our pâtés, terrines and mousses.
If your pâté board is your main appetizer, you’ll want about three to four ounces of cheese per person. If it’s just one of many in your pre-meal line-up, shop for about two ounces per person.
3. Choose Your Accompaniments
Hard and cured meats such as salami and prosciutto have bold flavors that provide a contrast to the richness of pâtés. They also work as standalone flavors for pairing with cheeses.
You’ll also want a sweet component to balance many of the salty and prominent flavors on the board. Seasonal fruits, such as figs, pears and apples are a classic way to add balance, and a drizzle of honey enhances the savory flavors of pâtés and cheeses.
Nuts add texture and provide a palette-cleansing effect, which is important when you’re hosting an array of flavors. For a seasonal touch, roast walnuts or chestnuts. The aroma is mouth-watering!
4. Choose Your Breads
With all of this creamy, cheesy, savory goodness in front of them, your guests will be looking for a vehicle to get it from the board to their mouths. Supply your guests with a mixture of different breads, crackers and breadsticks for a range of texture options.
5. Choose Your Settings
Last, but certainly not least, are the details. If you’re crafting an elaborate pâté board, you’ll need plenty of room. You want to make sure that your board is not over-crowded, for both aesthetic and logistical purposes.
It’s helpful to guests if you label each item, so they know what to expect and how to pair their samplings. In order to keep things moving quickly, be sure that each item can easily be served. For soft foods, make sure there is an appropriate utensil (either for spreading or scooping). For hard foods or meats, make sure they’re cut into individual sizes servings, and that there are either toothpicks or serving forks readily available.