Owl Meat & Cheese Tray
slices total deli meat and cheese, cut no thinner than 1/8 inch
MEAT AND CHEESE SHAPES
Body: Three square slices of cheese
Feet: One 2 inch cheese heart, cut in half (or two teardrops, if you have a teardrop cutter)
Wings: One large round slice of cheese, or one of your square slices cut with a cookie cutter
Feathers: Six cheese full circles and 9 half circles, cut with 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter
Eyes: Two 3 inch cheese circles
Beak: One small triangle cheese, cut from the scraps
At the bottom of your platter, place one of the square slices with the curve cut out, points down. Place the other slice opposite, points facing up. Position the feet in the middle of the bottom slice.
Place three of the three cheese full circles across the bottom, slightly overlapping, to form the first row of feathers. Place another row directly above the first.
Follow with 4 full meat circles, slightly overlapping. Alternate with rows of the half circles of meat and cheese.
Position the beak in the middle of the last row. Add the large half circle wings to the outside of the owl.
Place the eyes, overlapping them a bit for a googly effect.
If you're ready to serve, add the olives - cutting a slice off the bottom of each so they'll stay put. Otherwise, wrap up your tray and place in the refrigerator - you can do this up to a full day before your party. Add the olives to the eyes just before serving - cut a slice off the bottom of each so they'll stay put.
More About This Recipe
- I am all over the owl trend. (I’ve been semi-obsessed with owls for a while, ever since a friend gave me a copy of Wesley the Owl – a book that made me laugh and weep and be utterly amazed.)So, owl-o-phile that I am, I was thrilled to see all the adorable owl appetizer plates on the interweb (like this cute little guy).For my owl meat & cheese trays I used Provolone, Colby-Jack, and Cheddar cheeses; and for the meats, ham and salami. Really, you can use any meat and cheese, and layer as you wish. The results will be just as adorable, because of course, it’s all about the googly owl-eyes!The owls are super easy to assemble. For implements, you’ll need round cookie cutters (1 ½-inch, 2-inch and 3-inch), a smallish heart-shaped cutter (about 2-inch, or a teardrop if you have it), and a knife.The owls are made of a total of roughly 8 deli-standard slices of cheese, or cheese plus meat, for each owl, plus two black olives (for the pupils). You can use whatever you like or have on hand, ideal slices that are about 1/8 of an inch thick - the paper thin stuff is too difficult to handle. Here’s the breakout of what I used:Body: 3 square slices of cheese (about 3 1/2-inch square, a standard packaged slice), with a slight curve cut out of one side of eachFeet: 1 2-inch cheese heart, cut in half (or two teardrops, if you have a teardrop cutter)Wings: 1 large round slice of cheese, or one of your square slices cut with a cookie cutter, cut in halfFeathers: Cheese - 6 cheese full circles and 9 half circles, cut with 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutterMeat: 4 full circles and 8 half circles, cut with 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutterEyes: 2 3-inch cheese circlesBeak: 1 small triangle, cut from the scrapsServe with crackers, or even better, warm crescent biscuits and condiments to make tiny sandwiches!
- These owl recipes are such a hoot, you'll definintely want to serve them at your next party!
How to Make a Charcuterie Board (Meat and Cheese Platter)
Learn how to make a gorgeous appetizer platter (charcuterie board) that'll impress everyone and disappear quickly at your next party. This one's loaded with cured meats, cheeses, seasonal produce (easy to swap out), and lots of sweet & savory bite-sized nibbles, so there's something for everyone. Prep & assemble the simple ingredients in about 30 minutes (so easy), pop open a bottle of sparkling wine or mineral water, and relax while everyone grazes and chats.
Note: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Companies. All opinions are 100% mine.
Get creative and serve your dips in a unique manner. One fun idea is to hollow out a red or green bell pepper and use it to hold the dip. A hollowed loaf of bread also works well. Be sure to add some decorative garnishes to your party trays. For instance, a bunch of grapes can add a pop of color to a cheese tray. Use big, leafy green lettuce as a bed for your meats or cheeses.
If you are short on time, don't hesitate to use a store-bought dip. There is a wide variety of options available. Try salsa, ranch dressing or a premade dip to compliment your party tray. Be sure to use a good quality brand that will satisfy both you and your guests.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Did you know one of the most frequently asked questions in Google on the subject is what is a meat and cheese tray called? Knowing that I think it is important to address what I would name such an arrangement.
I am sure you have seen such a party platter being sold in supermarkets during the holidays. While they refer to it as “Meat and Cheese Platter” or “Meat Cheese Tray”, the most commonly used name is Charcuterie Board.
According to the definition on Wikipedia, Charcuterie is a French term for a branch of cooking devoted to primarily pork meat products. It was originally intended as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration was invented.
Nowadays, with the increased availability and popularity of cured meat (aka cold cuts) made from various meats, the name Charcuterie is used as a general term for all kinds of preserved meat including bacon, ham, confit, salami etc.
And if this word is new to you, the correct way to pronounce it is “shahr-ku-tuh-ree”.
So, in light of this information, what we refer to as Charcuterie Board here is a board prepared with various cold cuts (cured meat). Nowadays, most Charcuterie Boards are also arranged with various cheeses, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, and served as an appetizer.
Ideas For Using Up The Leftovers
Depending on the size of the board and how many people you need to serve, you may wind up with leftovers. Hey, that’s not a bad thing if you put them to use later. Here are some ideas for taking care of the leftovers:
- Use the mozzarella and tomatoes to make a sandwich or Caprese breakfast egg cups.
- Use nuts and dried fruits to serve with the perfect oatmeal.
- Make a fruit salad, a smoothie bowl, or even use the fresh fruit leftovers as a topping for this acai bowl recipe. makes a great spread for sandwiches!
- Veggies are great for making this cabbage soup loaded with veggies or a hearty beef stew.
Be creative and put your meat and cheese platter leftovers to use!