Make a Spanish Meat and Cheese Plate in 5 Minutes
Planning for a party can be daunting—but, rest assured, there are solutions! We have some suggestions on how to assemble a Spanish Meat and Cheese Plate in 5 minutes or less, whether it is at your local specialty market, shopping here at Market Hall Foods Online, or, if you happen to be in the Bay Area, at Rockridge Market Hall.
Minutes 1-2: Spanish CHEESE
Stop by a cheese counter to get started
Manchego: sheep milk, nutty and savory. Choose between young and aged versions; the younger manchego has a cleaner flavor and higher moisture content, while the aged has more concentrated, sharp flavors. Pair with membrillo (quince paste) for a classic Spanish combination.
Cadi Urgelia: cow milk, semi-soft, creamy, sliceable and meltable. Pair with sweet flavors, like honey or membrillo.
Capricho di Cabra: goat milk, bright and sweet with delicate tanginess. We refer to this as a gateway goat cheese, and it is similar in texture to French chèvre. Pair with some Arturo Sánchez Iberico Bellota Paleta (see below) or another cured Spanish ham.
Garrotxa: goat milk, aged with a minerality and subtle sweet finish. Pair with Marcona almonds (see below) and membrillo and an albariño wine.
Payoyo: goat and sheep milk with a bright and creamy flavor profile. A staff favorite made in Andalucía, Payoyo pairs well with Marcona almonds and sweet piquillo peppers.
Minutes 3-4: Spanish MEAT
Next, the deli . . .
Arturo Sánchez Iberico Bellota Paleta: luxurious shoulder cut ham with an unmatched, buttery, sweet and salty flavor. This ham is made from 100% Iberian pigs, which roam freely for two acorn seasons in the Spanish fields of Dehesa. It is then hung by hand and cured for 4-6 years. This prolonged curing technique, as well as top-notch flavor, makes Iberico ham one of the highest-quality meats in the world.
Fermín Chorizo: perfectly fatty and not overly-spicy, this Spanish chorizo is made from black-footed, acorn-fed hogs and has a balanced flavor of pimenton and garlic.
Palacios Chorizo: All-natural, dry-cured, and available in both spicy and sweet options. The sweet version is flavored with Pimenton de la Vera, a sweet and smoky paprika found in many Spanish dishes, and the chorizo picante has hot smoked paprika and garlic flavorings.
Minute 5: The EXTRAS
To top it all off:
- Membrillo: a quince paste, also known as quince cheese or dulce de membrillo. This sweet marmelade is a classic pairing with manchego; you will rarely see one without the other in Spain!
- Marcona almonds—beloved for their smooth and moist texture and undeniably rich and sweet flavor—are a Spanish cheese and meat plate must.
- Spanish olives, often available in a bulk olive section
- Piquillo peppers