How to Create a Charcuterie Board

How to Create a Charcuterie Board

One of the biggest food trends on social media at the moment is the charcuterie board.

Charcuterie boards are a stunning display of meat and cheese, often accompanied by crackers, fruit, nuts and various dips.

They are perfect for any party or event as they can be as big or as small as you like! Plus, you can easily accommodate any dietary requirements of your guests. Here’s our advice to creating the perfect charcuterie board!

Choosing the Right Board

Think about the amount of people you need to serve and select the size of the board accordingly. You can also use multiple boards, which would also work well if there were different dietary requirements such as vegetarians or vegans.

Charcuterie boards are usually wooden but can be of any shape – just check it is safe for food use! You could also use a marble board, depending on the look you would like to achieve. Bear in mind that the overall look of the charcuterie board is to look full so, try to remain modest on the size.

Ingredients

Cheese

One of the main ingredients for a charcuterie board is of course cheese! We suggest choosing a minimum of 3 cheeses for a smaller board, mixing it up between hard and soft cheeses.

Meat

The second ingredient will be the meat (providing you’re not serving vegetarians of course!). Thinly sliced, cured meats are perfect as they can be displayed in a variety of ways and are perfect for guests to nibble on. Another great choice is a spreadable meat like pate.

Crackers

To complement your meats and cheese you will want to add a selection of crackers, breadsticks and breads. We would recommend a couple of options for your board.

Fruit, Nuts & Sides

Fruit such as grapes and strawberries can be a delightful addition to your board, they also add a beautiful display of colour. Nuts are also an ideal way to fill small gaps and sides such as olives are always popular with cheese.

Dips

Depending on the other ingredients you have selected, it may work well to add a dip. For example, a hummus, honey, chilli or even an extra virgin olive oil for breads.

Putting your Charcuterie Board Together

Start with the larger elements like your cheese and any dishes for dips. Spread these around the board making sure to slice up the cheeses for a grazing-friendly experience.

Then add your crackers/ breads and grapes, followed by your meats. You can roll up the cured meats into easy to grab parcels (and they look great!). Fill any gaps with your remaining fruit and nuts.

The final step is to add your garnish such as a sprig of herbs.

Serving

Charcuterie boards are best served at room temperature, but food shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours. Ensure you have a small selection of pre-prepared items in the fridge ready to restock your board when you need to.

Seasonal Summer Food

Seasonal Summer Food

Summer has arrived! Why not explore the foods and recipes that are now officially in season.  

To help keep the cost of your weekly food shop down and reduce the air miles used to transport your food, it is always best to shop locally and buy in seasonal summer food.

Here is our list of the fruits and vegetables in season for summer and some recipes you can try out!

Strawberries

A hugely popular fruit, strawberries are sold all year round, but you are much more likely to discover the ripest, juiciest strawberries in the summer months.

Many individuals also enjoy strawberry picking themselves which is a fun day out suitable for all ages.

The fruit is packed with vitamins and fibre as well as being sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in calories, they are a fantastic option as a sweet but healthy snack. You can choose to eat them on their own or they make fantastic accompaniments for many dessert dishes.

Recipe

Eton Mess is a popular choice for a dessert during the summer and it’s super easy to make.

All you need is:

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Meringues (these can be bought readymade)
  • Thick or heavy cream
  • A little bit of caster sugar

Simply coat the strawberries in a sprinkling of sugar, then in a separate bowl, whip the cream using an electric mixer. Crush your meringue and then mix everything together!

New Potatoes

Unlike their fully grown counterparts, new potatoes have thin, wispy skills and a waxy texture and keep their shape once cooked. Additionally, they are sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted to starch. Each of these factors make them ideal for use in salads.

New potatoes contain Vitamin B1 which is what our bodies need to release energy from carbohydrates. It also promotes healthy heart function. You will also find other B vitamins such as folic acid.

Recipe

Potato salad is a super easy side dish, perfect for any summer BBQ. Simply cook off your new potatoes until you can pierce a fork through, and they slide off, then mix with a bit of olive oil, Dijon mustard, spring onion and fresh parsley.

Read the full recipe here.

Melon

There is such a large variety of melon to choose from. Some of the most popular choices include Watermelon, Honey Dew and Cantaloupe. They are all very refreshing options and can be widely used across sweet and savoury dishes.

Watermelon has many benefits:

  • Hydrating
  • Contains compounds that may help prevent cancer.
  • Contains vitamins A, B6 and C
  • Only 40 calories per cup

Recipe

A perfect savoury recipe for watermelon is a delicious salad mixed with tomatoes and feta cheese.
Arrange the two fruits on a platter and then whisk together in a bowl olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper, then spoon over the tomatoes and watermelon. Sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh basil.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a great addition to pies, crumbles and savoury suppers. It is technically a vegetable, but it is often treated as a fruit – despite its tart flavour. While it is able to grow most of the year, it is best grown in sunlight and warmer soil temperatures.

Rhubarb contains antioxidants which have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties which can help protect against many healthy-related issues.

Recipe

Enjoy rhubarb in a delicious homemade crumble. The recipe is simple and can be found here.

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit isn’t one you commonly come across, but it is a delicious seasonal summer food packed full of nutritional benefits!

It is fairly sweet in flavour but with a slight tart citrus like taste. It’s also full of vitamins and is rich in antioxidants. Not to mention that passion fruit is a great source of fibre and helps boost the immune system.

A great way to enjoy passion fruit is in a cocktail!

Recipe

Discover a delicious passion fruit margarite – this way!

 

If you’re hosting a social event this summer but don’t want the stress of catering, why not hire a professional caterer to take care of everything for you?
Contact Laurens Catering today for a FREE quote.

Our Favourite Summer Dishes

Our Favourite Summer Dishes

Summer is on its way and with the latest restrictions easing, allowing up to 30 people to socialise outside, it’s the best time to get together over some delicious summer dishes.

Unlike the winter, summer brings us sun and heat (hopefully!) meaning most people don’t want hot, heavy meals.

You also want to spend less time stuck in the kitchen and more time outside with your guests so, its important summer dishes are quick and easy to prepare! Here are our favourites.

1.   Chicken Skewers

Chicken Skewers Summer Dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken is a fantastically light meat that can be seasoned in so many ways! Choose from hot & spicy, BBQ or simply just grill with salt and pepper. Chicken skewers are a great ‘nibbly’ snack that can accompany other dishes or paired with a salad as a summer meal. You can add different vegetables to the skewers too including red onion, peppers, courgette and even halloumi.

2.   Summer Salad

Summer Dish - Summer Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another delicious summer dish that can be eaten on its own or as a side to your BBQ classics. The added bonus is there’s no cooking required! Simply cut and prepare your ingredients and toss together in a bowl with some dressing. This recipe is fresh, tasty and full of flavour!

3.   Grilled Halloumi

Grilled Halloumi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloumi is such a versatile cheese and works perfectly with a variety of other food. You can just grill it on its own and serve with a dip, add it to kebabs like we mentioned earlier or use it in a salad. Paired with watermelon and caper breadcrumbs, halloumi is the ideal summer food.

4.   Sweetcorn Fritters

Summer Dish Sweetcorn Fritters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This light and easy meal is a great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sweetcorn fritters will only take half an hour in the kitchen and 20 minutes of that is in the oven, leaving you to sit, relax and enjoy a drink with your guests. It also gives you 4/5 of your 5-a-day and is suitable for vegetarians.

5.   Potato Salad

Potato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato salad is a classic side dish for any BBQ but why not level up this year? By adding some extra flavours to your dressing, you can really wow your guests with this summer dish! All you need is mayo, soured cream, horseradish, lemon juice, wholegrain mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil, spring onions and for that extra crunch add crispy fried onions!

6.   Sweet Flatbreads

Summer Dish Flatbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a deliciously sweet snack with a peach and prosciutto flatbread. While it takes a little longer at 40 minutes, it is totally worth it and the recipe is super simple to follow. Suitable for vegetarians and is sure to be popular amongst your guests.

 

If you’re hosting a social event this summer but don’t want the stress of catering, why not hire a professional caterer to take care of everything for you?
Contact Laurens Catering today for a FREE quote.

Planning Your Wedding Catering: 4 Top Tips

Planning Your Wedding Catering: 4 Top Tips

Your wedding day will be one of the most special days of your life. However, it can get very stressful very quickly. We’re here to look at some top tips to help you with planning your wedding catering.

If you’re in the process of planning a wedding, you’re probably already stressing out a little bit about all the things that need to be organised. There’s the venue, dresses, suits, table settings, entertainment and more. While we might not be able to advise on which flower will look best next to the twine table decorations you’ve chosen, we can help you with organising your food.

As professional caterers, we understand what it takes to arrange good food for your guests and we’re here to share some expert advice with you.

1.   Plan Your Wedding Catering, and then Plan Some More

Any wedding caterer knows that the success of an event comes down to planning. Having every detail planned out can help alleviate some stress and help you gain some confidence in your wedding. Every detail should be thought about. This includes what food options you want and how you want them to be displayed. Special dietary requirements also need to be planned for, such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Most professionals will be able to help you with this.

2.   Work with Someone Who Can Help

Organising any event becomes a whole lot easier when you share the burden with someone else. This gives you someone who can take some of the pressure off your shoulders. This person can also give you a second opinion and reassurance that will help calm your nerves when it comes to planning your wedding catering.

Whether you choose to work with a close family member or a professional caterer, communication is key. Make sure that they are kept in the loop with every detail and all decisions that you make.

3.   Be Honest About Issues

This is your wedding day. If you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right or that you’re not completely happy with, be honest. Any caterer will want to make sure that you are happy with your event.

However, you should try to put these issues into perspective. As the big day gets closer, tiny details may seem like the end of the world. Although your caterer will try and accommodate your wishes as much as they can, please keep in mind that things do happen and last-minute changes might not be possible. The main thing to remember is that, as long as you, your fiancé and your loved ones are present and you have a good time, you’ll have a wonderful wedding to remember.

4.   Work with Someone You Can Trust

The easiest way to put your nerves at ease when planning your wedding catering is to hire a professional. Even if your neighbour says that they can handle it, experts do this for a living. They know the ins and outs of wedding catering and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Professional caterers will have industry-standard equipment and the storage, preparation space and team members to be able to produce large amounts of food. This ensures that you can be confident that you’ll have enough food for all your guests. You can also have peace of mind that all of this food will be of the highest quality.

If you’re thinking of hiring a professional to handle your wedding catering, Lauren’s Catering can help. We are a professional catering team that can provide first-class buffet catering.

We can accommodate a range of dietary requirements to make sure that there is food that everyone can enjoy!

Why not get in touch and get a conversation started with us today?

4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Caterer

4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Caterer

We’re all excited to soon be able to continue with big events such as weddings and birthday parties. If you’re looking to book an event this year, there are many benefits of hiring a professional caterer.

With the announcement of a ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ we’re all excited that by late spring/early summer we will hopefully be able to attend family events again. When organising any event there are a number of things to plan and consider. These include location, music, cake, decorations and a guest list. Undoubtedly, one of the most important things to plan is the food. When it comes to food it can start to get stressful. This is because you have to think about what food you want, how much you’ll need and organise the making of the food. Hiring a professional caterer can ease this stress and make the planning process and the day itself go more smoothly.

Here are 4 benefits of hiring a professional caterer for your event:

1.      Food Tailored to You

Food is a very personal thing and there are a lot of bases to cover when it comes to catering for an event. With a professional caterer you get a wide variety of food options ideal for any event or gathering. Plus, you have the option to mix and match meaning that you can make sure that you will have something every guest will enjoy.

There are also a lot of dietary requirements to keep in mind too. Many events often need gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan options as well. A professional caterer will have other menu items that will meet the needs of those who require alternative food options.

2.      Professional Caterer Means Professional Service

Another benefit of hiring a professional caterer, you can rest assured that you will be receiving a first-class service. With their extensive experience in the industry, any professional should be able to serve high-quality food with every detail taken into account. A high attention to detail is used to ensure perfect food with perfect presentation. Top-quality service and food is the trademark of a professional caterer who has numerous years of experience in the industry.

3.      Delivered on Time

One of the highlights of having a professional caterer provide food for your event is that you can have peace of mind that your food will be delivered on time. Any established caterer will know the routine like the back of their hand. This means that they’ll remain in-sync with any event planner or coordinator at all times. Doing this ensures that your food is prepared, cooked and delivered at the right times. The whole operation will be executed perfectly and you and your guests will receive your food when promised. The last thing you want is hungry party people!

4.      Take a Weight Off Your Shoulders

Organising an event can get very overwhelming very quickly. There are so many things to plan, schedule and organise. Handing over the stressful task of arranging the food to a professional caterer can take a big weight off your shoulders. Doing this will leave you to enjoy your event and leave your tensions at the door. Everything relating to the food will be handled by the caterer. With a professional, you can count on them to make your event a success.

At Lauren’s Catering we pride ourselves on our high-quality food and timely service. We are an experienced catering team and can cater to specific dietary requirements as needed. We cater for birthday parties, weddings, family gatherings christenings and more. If you’re thinking of arranging a special event this year, get in touch to start organising your food today.

The TikTok Tortilla Hack Trend

The TikTok Tortilla Hack Trend

Whether you’ve heard about the TikTok tortilla hack trend or not, I’m here to talk about what it is and to give a few filling ideas if you want to try it yourself.

At Lauren’s Catering, we know how important a good lunch is. Sometimes plain sandwiches can get a bit boring. That’s why we offer a variety of different lunch options to keep your lunch exciting. Although our snack vans are still operating as normal, a lot of you are now working from home. One way that people working from home have been keeping their lunches exciting is with the TikTok tortilla hack.

You may or may not have seen the tortilla hack trend on TikTok. Even if you’re not a user of TikTok, the various viral videos have been hard to miss across other social media channels. With TikTok allowing users to post short and quick videos, it’s not surprising that it has been popular for sharing quick ‘hacks’. Many of us have been introduced to various hacks through the platform but one that has really caught on is the tortilla hack – it really is a game-changer!

What is the tortilla hack?

We all know the common way of using a tortilla wrap. You put your filling in the middle and you roll it up, sometimes folding the top and bottom to stop the filling from falling out. However, users of TikTok have been sharing a hack that allows you to enjoy your wrap in a different way. The result of the tortilla hack is a quesadilla-shaped sandwich with 3 or 4 layers of filling. The folding technique used makes it easier to eat and keeps ‘spillage’ to a minimum.

How do you make a wrap using the tortilla hack?

Using the tortilla hack to make your own wrap is super easy. It simply involves making a strategically placed cut across half of the tortilla wrap. This allows you to fold it over itself several times, creating separate layers of filling.

Put simply, all you need to do once you have made your cut is to put a different filling in each corner. Once you’ve done that you fold it up and round. Most people then grill it using a sandwich press until brown and crispy.  If you don’t have one of these, you can easily get it toasty in a frying pan until it is nice and brown.

Here’s a quick step-by-step visual guide to show you:

Lauren's blog tortilla hack steps

What can you make with the tortilla hack?

This technique is extremely versatile. You can mix and match any fillings that you want and can create indulgent wraps, vegan wraps, health wraps or even dessert wraps. Whatever food you fancy, there is a way to utilise this TikTok hack!

 

Here are some recipe suggestions…

Classic Ham & Cheese Wrap

  • Ham Slices
  • Grated Cheese
  • Fresh Rocket
  • Sliced Tomatoes

Pizza Wrap

  • Grated Cheese
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Pepperoni

Cheeseburger Wrap

  • Sliced Pickled Gherkins
  • Sliced Burger (Cooked)
  • Grated Cheese
  • Extra Toppings (Tomato, Lettuce etc.)

Breakfast Wrap

  • Mayo or Ketchup
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Crispy Bacon
  • Fresh Salad

Dessert Wrap

  • Nutella
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Sliced Bananas