North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts. The idea of a North German cheese plate was inspired by our getaway on a farm in Northern Frisia some weekends ago. Located on the boarder between Germany and Denmark and very close to the North Sea, it offers beautiful nordic sceneries, rigorous climate and hasteless lifestyle. It’s flat like a pancake, with endless fields and strong winds that nearly knock you down. It’s easy to get lost in these wide flatlands that look so similar: green grass, pasturing kettle, mostly sheep and old school farmer houses with thatched roofs…

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.German-Danish border is right around the corner!

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.And that’s the sea: sheep are pasturing right on the shore.

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts. North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.It’s nice to have a calm weekend on the countryside and slow down your life tempo once in a while. The North Frisian landscapes looks very similar to Dutch ones. As they share the same climate, it has an effect on food habits, as you can imagine. We all know Dutch cheeses but German and Danish ones are less popular. It’s unfair, isn’t it? German and Danish cheeses deserve their hour of triumph, too! That’s why this North German cheese plate inspired by this trip consists of local cheeses, spreads, nuts and locally grown fruits.

North German Cheese Plate: Cheeses and Drinks

There are no olives and no grapes but there is smoked fish, North Sea shrimps, dry-cured smoked ham, dried fruits and rye crackers instead. And the most important part: there is no wine but there is beer. I’ve chosen Danish Pilsner but you can drink a glass (or two) of your favorite beer. Light lager, brown and amber beers will go nicely with the cheeses I’ve selected. Unfortunately, I couldn’t incorporate all of my favorite cheeses on one plate. I’ve taken only four kinds for a small company (3-4 people): rich and full-flavored aged gouda, nutty and sweetish Danish Bernsteiner, hearty and piquant Velfrisk Danish North Sea cheese and creamy and full-bodied Nørvind with blue and white mould. This selection gives a variety of flavors and textures: from soft and creamy to hard and nutty. I think four or five types of cheese is optimal for a cheese plate, as you can enjoy each of them and remember their tastes in combinations with fruits and meat. When there are more than five cheeses, tastes mix up and it’s hard to enjoy each individual taste.

If you want to prepare a nice North German cheese plate (although not only), don’t forget three things, besides beer and cheeses: something crunchy, something meaty, and something fruity.

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.Something Crunchy

I’ve made rye bread crackers which are ridiculously easy to make. You just need one ingredient. Yes, you guessed right, it’s rye bread. Any other artisan breads with seeds or nuts would also fit well. Check the recipe below for instructions.

The next crunchy things are cornichons. They are a good alternative to olives which don’t grow in Northern Germany. Cornichons are sour and salty and they go perfectly with cheese. Who knows, maybe they are your new olives on a cheese plate?

Nuts also give a little crunch to the soft and chewy variety of cheeses. I picked walnuts, as they are grown locally but you can feel free experimenting with pistachios, pecans or hazelnuts.

IMG_5070Something Meaty (and Fishy)

If you visit the North Sea coast you probably will eat a lot of fish and seafood but also all-German dry-cured smoked ham and all kinds of meat-based spreads. For this cheese plate I’ve picked smoked trout, North Sea shrimps, dry-cured Holsteiner smoked ham and fine liver pâté with plums I got from the farm we’ve been staying. This is plenty of stuff to pair with cheese and figure out new surprising  pairings.

You can substitute any other shrimps for North Sea shrimps , as they are probably not easy to get outside of the North Sea region. Prosciutto ham will go well instead of dry-cured Holsteiner smoked ham. An alternative for smoked trout would be salmon or eel. As for the liver pâté with plums, you can easily make it by yourself by adding a couple of chopped dried plums to any other meat-based pâté. As you can see, improvisation is very welcome when it comes to cheese plates. By experimenting a lot you can find out what works best for you.

Something Fruity

You can serve dried or fresh fruits but I prefer both. I like fresh and seasonal local fruits, so I’ve picked pears. Apples would fit well, too, especially at this time of the year. I wasn’t that picky with dried fruits as you can enjoy them the whole year round, so I’ve chosen dried cherries and apricots. Dried plums, cranberries, apples and pears would fit perfectly, too. Pick up your favorite fresh and dried fruits which are in season in your region and you won’t be wrong.

Finally, the fruity component which is at the same time pungent and astringent is fig mustard. If it’s not available, fig jam will save the situation. Honey is always good as a pairing to cheese, too, as well as any olive-based spreads like tapenade, but I was limited by regional food, so I didn’t include them. But you can! 

All in all, that’s pretty much everything about the North German cheese plate. If you have any questions about German or Danish cheeses, feel free to ask in comments. And in case you are looking for an impressive and super easy artisan crackers recipe, here you go:

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

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North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe
North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.
North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine German
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the rye crackers (4 servings):
For the cheese plate (4 servings):
Course Appetizer
Cuisine German
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the rye crackers (4 servings):
For the cheese plate (4 servings):
North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
To make the rye crackers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C or 350 °F.
  2. Cut your bread slices in 4 pieces (if their shape is square or round). Arrange on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about 5 minutes, flip over and roast for 3 more minutes or until crispy.
To assemble the cheese plate:
  1. Arrange all the ingredients together with rye crackers on a large wooden board or plate. Serve as an appetizer. Enjoy!
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North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.You can serve this cheese plate as an appetizer for big occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, as well as for date nights in or family gatherings. It looks really impressive and unusual and yet is super easy and fast to make, as there is zero cooking involved, except of slicing bread and artistically arranging cheeses. I would love to hear about your preferences in cheese plates. Olives/meats/fruits? What is your go-to cheese plate?

North German Cheese Plate and Easy Crackers Recipe: effortless and impressive appetizers and cheeses, rye crackers, meat, fish, fruit and nuts.

Cheers,

Elena

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