cold cut platters
Guys, can you please share your ideas for cold cut platters. How to arrange them?
When I made my first charcuterie platter I was in the same boat. Then I found this great article on BonAppetit.com which gave me a great starting point. Use their list and modify it to your taste(s). I go to St. Paul Cheese Shop for the meats/cheeses because its a one stop shop. Their article pic also shows a good way to present the spread.
Typically you'll have 3 types of cold cuts. Roll each slice of meat to about the length & diameter of your index finger for an elegant-looking and neat-serving platter. On a good-looking rectangular tray covered with plastic wrap (or your jelly-roll pan covered in foil if it's not good-looking), align your rolled meats in 3 stripes. If you're serving cheeses, 2x2 inch slices of those can be dividers between the stripes.
The link that NugarifiK looks great. That's a nice place to start,with a variety of cured meats ranging from mild to hot, and a variety of styles and preparations.
The type of platter Midwesterner, below, seems to be suggesting is a typical American platter - deli meats and sliced cheeses. Certainly an option.
If you want something a little different, and maybe a bit more European style, then a few cured meats, layer the slices (as the pic in the bonappetit link), pop some cheese on there (maybe a variety of a few sliced, and a few you hand cut, and a few assorted garnishments, like some cornichons, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and provide a nice baguette, sliced. That's what I usually put together for a charcuterie platter.
Roll the meats and even the cheese if it sticks together.
My picks would be Black Forrest ham, smoked turkey and a rare roast beef. Swiss/havarti and god ole American cheese.
Dijon and honey mustard.
Also, if you search for images of cold meat platters, you'll see some "stock" photos of various arrangements. I saw one with decorative foldings / rollings of a slice of meat of each type as a large flower. And other that used a round tray, olives in a center dish, and a circle of radishes separating that from the rolled meats arranged in alternating V shaped swaths - like a huge black-eyed susan flower / daisy with the meat as the petals.
Are you looking for ideas on party-platters? Or for single-serving plates? If party-platters, do everything you can to help people move through the line quickly, know exactly what they're selecting, and serve themselves easily so as not leave a mess for the other diners.
If keeping the line moving is an important concern, avoid round platters with bowls or mounds of food in the center. People will intuitively avoid reaching over the center to get to the slices on the far side, and very few will take the initiative to rotate the platter to move the empty section to the rear. Whoever's in charge of dispatching the food would need to rearrange round platters.