Good entertaining can be easy entertaining when you offer a charcuterie board.  This classic appetizer's presentation gets updated every decade but the key ingredients never change. 

Here are the components of a successful charcuterie:

Cured sausages
Cured, hard sausages there are  plenty of good options when it comes to cured, hard sausage. Try to  mix it up with complementary and contrasting flavors from hot and fiery to mild and sweet.

Whole-Muscle Cuts
Paper-thin whole-muscle cuts of cured meat, favourites include bacon, prosciutto, and beef tenderloin . 

Paté or terrine
A terrine or paté can be made from just about anything. I prefer a duck, rabbit or chicken and pork smooth pate.  Either way your goal is for slices that can be eaten in two to three bites, on top of toast or a cracker. PS there are some wonderful vegetarian and gluten free recipes.  

Bread or Crackers
Homemade toasts are good. Homemade toasts rubbed with quality olive oil and a cut clove of garlic are way better, says Mullen. Crackers are a no-fuss, open-the-package-and-go option, but no matter what you choose, you’re going to need something bready for guests to pair the meat with.  I always have a gluten free option for guests.

A spreadable chutney or jam is the perfect compliment to fatty, salty meat and cheese. You can never go wrong with a grainy mustard and tangy, tart pickles—cornichons are a classic choice.

So many choices from pumpkin seed, almonds to walnuts, pine nuts or pecans.   Create variety by offering an assortment of plain, seasoned and salted nuts.  Very popular is a mix fresh blueberries and salted smoked almonds.

For an easy and updated classic appetizer put out a charcuterie board and spend your time enjoying your event. 

copyright Denise Fleming 2015