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Charcuterie 101: A Beginner's Guide to Charcuterie Board

Whether capping off the week or celebrating a special occasion, your wine night can be made extra fancy by a well curated charcuterie board. Charcuterie (pronounced as “shar-koo-tuh-ree”) came from the French words chair (“flesh”) and cuit (“cooked”) and refers to the arrangement of various cured meats from hard, thin-sliced cuts, to soft spreads. It’s also used to describe the shops in France that sell these kinds of meats.  

Charcuterie Board

 

Believe it or not, preparing a charcuterie board is not that hard. The key is to create balance between your board’s components: your soft and hard cheeses, your cured meats and salamis, your crackers and breads, your dips and spreads, and your other finger foods. 

Sounds simple, right? But actually choosing your own additions and pairings while considering their distinct flavors and textures, can still be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to give you the ultimate cheat sheet for your charcuterie board! 

Let’s start with your board’s components.

Cheese 

The golden rule is to offer the classic tag team of soft or semi-soft and firm or hard cheeses. Try our Vega Mancha Manchego Sheep Cheese with our Wyke Farms - English Mature Cheddar.   

Remember to serve your soft or semi-soft cheeses with a cheese knife and only unwrap them just before serving. Cut your firm or hard cheeses into ¼-inch slices and crumble your solid cheeses into bite sizes.

Cold Cuts

Salami, ham, pepperoni, and Iberico ham work well with hard cheeses. Salchichón, chorizo, prosciutto, and Fuet sausages, on the other hand, are perfect with semi-soft cheeses. 

Try our Cinco Jotas - Ibérico Ham with our Wyke Farms - English Extra Mature Cheddar

Crackers and Breads

Crackers and breads are your board’s neutralizers to offset the strong flavors of different cheeses and meats. Grain crackers work well with soft cheeses while breads are perfect with fresh, soft, and spreadable cheeses.  

Add ons

Spreads and dips also bring out the flavor of cheeses and cold cuts. Serve a dollop of honey or pesto sauce, or add a small bowl of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for your breads. 

Fruits like apples, oranges, and strawberries can balance the richness of cheeses and the saltiness of cold cuts.  

Don’t forget to use this handy guide for your portions!

  • 2 types of cold cuts (not exceeding to 1 cup) 
  • 3-4 types of cheeses (½ cup each)
  • 10 pieces of crackers or 12 slices of baguette (toasted)
  • 1 small bowl of dip
  • 1 small bowl of spread or jam
  • 1-2 types of seasonal fruits  

Crisp, white wines like our Alkoomi Rose or The Ned Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for any charcuterie. The bright acidity of our red wines like the Massolino washes away the saltiness and fats of the cold cuts and provides a refreshing after taste. 

For more selections of charcuterie must haves and pairings, visit https://thetastefulselections.com

Lance Ferrer
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3 Ways To Prepare La Belle Iloise Canned Seafoods

Here at The Tasteful Selections, we bring you the finest and most sophisticated food experience right at the comfort of your homes. Enjoy the best of France’s Quiberon peninsula with La Belle Iloise canned seafood. Now in their 90th year, La Belle Iloise is known for their seafood and other ingredients sustainably sourced based on their “origin and seasonality.” You can be guaranteed that for every can of La Belle Iloise, you can be treated with the freshest and most delicate taste of Quiberon seafood.  

Here are 3 ways to prepare La Belle Iloise canned goodness:

As tapa or charcuterie board addition

Serve La Belle Iloise flaked tuna with tomato with crackers or baguette to make your wine night extra special. You can also serve our La Belle Iloise Lobster and cognac mousse fresh, as a spread on bread or croutons. 

As pasta or casserole

La Belle Iloise canned soups are also packed with natural flavors. Try our creamy lobster pasta recipe using La Belle Iloise Lobster bisque. You can also try our chicken casserole recipe using La Belle Iloise Shellfish Veloute Soup

As sandwich 

With the finest ingredients, even simple preparations can produce hearty meals. Enjoy the best tuna sandwich that will ever grace your table with La Belle Iloise Tuna and Parmesan rillettes. The perfect marriage of tuna cooked in pork fat and parmesan will surely leave a lasting impression on your palate.  

For our complete selection of La Belle Iloise canned seafoods and soups, visit https://thetastefulselections.com/collections/la-belle-iloise

Lance Ferrer
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Smoked Dry Aged Striploin

Smoked Dry Aged Striploin

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 piece   WX Dry Aged Striploin
  • 1/2 tsp    Iodized Fine Salt
  • 1/2 tsp    Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp    Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp     Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup   Red Rice, cooked
  • 30g         Red Onion, cut in half
  • 40g         Red Bell Pepper, whole and grilled for garnish

PROCEDURE

  1. In a bowl, combine black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat Lainox oven to 190 degrees celsius, set probe parameter internal temp 55 degrees celsius and smoke grilling, smoke essence attached in the oven.
  3. Add olive oil in the steak, season w/ the mix rub.
  4. Attach probe in the steak and put on Lainox combi oven.
  5. Wait until it reaches 55 degrees celsius cooking internal temperature.
  6. Serve w/ red rice, grilled bell pepper, and red onion.
Lance Ferrer
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Dry Aged Striploin w/ Balsamic Onion Jam

Dry Aged Striploin w/ Balsamic Onion Jam

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 piece    WX Dry Aged Striploin
  • 30g         Maven Butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1/2 tsp    Iodized Fine Salt
  • 1/2 tsp    Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp     Olive Oil
  • 150g       Red Onion, Chopped
  • 3 tbsp     Campo Verde Balsamic Vinegar
  • Beef Stock

PROCEDURE

  1. On a skillet, pour olive oil and butter, cook dry aged striploin according to desired doneness and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat olive oil, saute shallots/ red onion on moderate heat, keep stirring until soft and brown.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and beef stock, bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer until thick for about 5mins. Season w/ salt and pepper.
  5. Plate the steak and pour the balsamic jam sauce on top and serve.
Lance Ferrer
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Pepper Crusted Dry Aged Ribeye in Red Wine Auju

Pepper Crusted Dry Aged Ribeye in Red Wine Auju

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 piece WX Dry Aged Ribeye
  • 2 tbsp Peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Iodized Fine Salt
  • 1/2 cup Maven Butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Jus

PROCEDURE

  1. Season beef with peppercorns and salt. Cook according to preferred doneness.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add red wine jus. Simmer to reduce.

 

Tip/s: pair this dish with Larnaudie Bloc De Foie Gras De Canard and Mount Brown Estates 2019 Pinot Noir

Note/s: allow your steak to rest before cutting.

Lance Ferrer
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Dry Aged Ribeye w/ Brandy Habanero Sauce

Dry Aged Ribeye w/ Brandy Habanero Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pc WX Dry Aged Ribeye
  • 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup Maven Butter, unsalted
  • 1 pc Shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp Iodized Fine Salt
  • 1 tsp Crushed Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tsp Habanero
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Sweet Mashed Potato
  • 50 g Grilled French Beans
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Sweet Mashed Potato

  • 400 g Sweet Potato
  • 40 ml Maven Butter, melted
  • 2 g Iodized Fine Salt
  • 1 g Pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. In a skillet, at a high heat melt butter and cook steak until golden brown on each side. Cook steak according to desired doneness.
  2. In the same pan, melt butter and sautee onions and garlic until soft.
  3. Deglaze pan with tequilla and lime juice, simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Add cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add cream and habanero. Mix well until smooth and thick.
  6. To assemble, create a bed of sweet mashed potato in a plate, add steak and drizzle with desired amount of sauce. Side steak with grilled French beans.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

Tip/s: Finish sauce with butter enriches the sauce. It also provides sheen and smoothness to sauce. For acidic sauce, finishing with butter will smoothen its taste.

Sweet Mashed Potato

  1. Preheat oven to 216 degree celcius
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Remove from oven, and let it cool before peeling skin off.
  4. In a medium size bowl using a fork mash sweet potato until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Add melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Lance Ferrer
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Greek Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 250ml Campo Verde Black Cream Balsamic Vinegar
  • 500g Watermelon, seedless and cut into medium size cubes
  • 100g Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pc Red Onion, sliced
  • 200g Arugula
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. Plate watermelon in a serving platter and top with cheese, arugula and onions.
  2. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with pepper before serving.
Lance Ferrer
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Green Olive Tapenade Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 156g Goya Manzanilla Cocktail Olives - pitted
  • 56g Anchovies
  • 56g Parsley, chopped
  • 160ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Goya Capers
  • 1 pc Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Iodized fine salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 637g Cooked Fusilli Pasta
  • 150g Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan, grated

PROCEDURE

  1. Using a food processor, combine all tapenade ingredients and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. In a pan, saute one fourth cup of tapenade and tomatoes, saute until fragrant.
  3. Add pasta and toss to mix well.
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.
Lance Ferrer
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Pan Con Tomate with Jamon

Pan Con Tomate with Jamon

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pcs Red Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Iodized Fine Salt
  • Batard Bread, sliced, warmed and toasted
  • 1 pack Cinco Jotas Iberico Shoulder Ham

PROCEDURE

  1. In a medium size pan, grate tomatoes using a grater.
  2. Add oil and season with salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. To serve, top each bread with a spoonful of tomate then top with iberico.

Tip/s: best serve with VEGA MANCHA- MANCHEGO ANEJO CHEESE

Lance Ferrer
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Creamy Lobster Pasta

Creamy Lobster Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can La Belle Iloise Lobster Bisque
  • 60g Maven Butter, Salted
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2g Pepper, crushed
  • 500g Cooked Spaghetti Noodles
  • 60ml Reserved Pasta Water
  • 2g Iodized Fine Salt
  • 10g Basil, chopped
  • 30g Parmesan Cheese, grated

PROCEDURE

  1. In a medium size pan, melt butter and saute garlic with chili for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add bisque and heat for 1 minute until simmering.
  3. Add noodles and reserved pasta water. Mix well until pasta is evenly coated with bisque.
  4. Season with salt and basil. Mix well.
  5. Remove from heat and toss in basil.
  6. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese before serving.

Tip/s: best serve with garlic bread using Maven Pure Butter.
Option to add other type of seafoods for a more fuller dish.

Lance Ferrer
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Chicken and Creamy Lyonnaise Potatoes Casserole

Chicken and Creamy Lyonnaise Potatoes Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can La Belle Iloise Shellfish Veloute Soup
  •  3 pcs Potato, Peeled and Sliced
  • 60g Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 500g Chicken Breast, cut- butterfly style
  • 5g Iodized fine salt
  • 2g Black Pepper
  • 15g Smoked Paprika
  • 60g Maven Pure Butter, Salted
  • 10g Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius.
  2. Layer casserole with veloute sauce, sliced potatoes and parmesan cheese alternately. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. In a medium size pan, melt butter and pan grill chicken until golden brown or fully cooked.
  5. Serve chicken in bed of lyonnaise potatoes.

Tip/s: if using an medium size oven toaster, cover baking pan with aluminum foil to prevent potatoes from burning.

Lance Ferrer
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Jamon Serrano Cream Fettuccine

Jamon Serrano Cream Fettuccine

INGREDIENTS


  • 500 grams cooked fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted Maven butter
  • 1 pc onion, chopped fine
  • ½ cup mushrooms of choice
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water (or reserved pasta water)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 slices Artysan Serrano Ham Reserva

PROCEDURE

  1. In a large deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, around 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and ¼ cup of  water, and cook, stirring until the pasta is coated with a light creamy sauce.
  5. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
  6. Off the heat, gently fold in the Serrano ham reserva. 
  7. Serve the pasta in plates. Garnish with your desired fresh herbs.
Lance Ferrer
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