When I asked Emilio what the holidays are like with the Mignucci family he smiled as he replied, “It’s total Bacchanalia”.
Did I expect anything less?
He proceeded to explain, in delicious detail, how he prepares food throughout the entire day for his family. It looks a little something like this:
Cheese and charcuterie board with Prosecco – “I have to put snacks together to keep everyone from just diving into the food as I’m cooking it.”
Grilled shrimp and lamb chops (around 120 chops).
A little break.
Soup – usually Italian Wedding Soup.
“A couple-a salads” – Caesar and spring mix with dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese.
A pasta course which elicits a yearly battle over baked pasta vs. ravioli, but always includes Emilio’s wife’s homemade gravy made with meatballs, sausages, pepperoni, bresaola and pork.
Ham and sliced beef filet served with roasted potatoes and carrots and raw sliced fennel to be dipped in Olio Novello.
Pies, cakes, sfogliatelle and cannoli. “You gotta have cannoli! We eat lots of cannoli.”
I had just one question when he was finally finished, “Can I come over?!”
OK, we can’t all go to Emilio’s house for Christmas, but we can make this cheese and charcuterie board to keep our hungry families at bay. According to Emilio you’ve always got to cover the cheese basics; soft, medium, hard and blue. Then you can add special seasonal cheeses like Gruyere Alpage, Rush Creek Reserve, Rogue River Blue or Doe Run Holly. That’s a whole lotta of cheese! So here are five classic pairings that Emilio always serves along with some seasonal treats.
Grande Mandarini Provolone and Di Bruno Bros. Pepperoni
Sharp and spicy! A pairing for any occasion.
Pecorino Mascio and Cacciatorini al Diavolo
This sheep milk cheese is nutty and herbaceous pairing beautifully with the spicy Cacciaotorini.
A fresh chèvre and Di Bruno Bros. Strawberry Prosecco Jam
A creamy tangy bite balanced by the subtly sweet jam.
Calabrian Hand-rolled Fig Ball
Sweet, decadent with notes of caramel, these preserved figs are a southern Italian tradition.
Christmas spices are infused throughout this dense fruit and nut cake.
I finished off the board with super sweet satsumas for some seasonal flair. Persimmons and pomegranates can also contribute bright winter flavors and a pop of color.
Open a bottle of Prosecco and let the festivities begin!
Previously on In the Kitchen with Jackie:
- Roasted Sweet & Smoky Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta + Grilled Cheese!
Ottanta al Tartufo Mac & Cheese
Trick or Treat Cheeseboard
Autumn Delicata Squash Salad
Hello! My name is Jackie Botto and I’ve been working with Di Bruno Bros. for almost five years now styling, photographing and sometimes cooking with all the phenomenal ingredients they offer. CHEESE? Yes, mostly cheese. This blog is the space where I’ll share the things I make. No, I am not a professional chef, I’m a home chef! I cook for myself, my family, my friends – and then I take photos of what I make with the hope it inspires you to cook too.Want to share some tips or pairings of your own? Please leave a comment below!