Take all those scraps of cheese hanging out in your refrigerator and make this French cheese spread recipe: Fromage Fort! Traditionally made by blending together pieces of different leftover cheeses, white wine and garlic, it is a great way to reinvent your cheeseboard.
Everyone knows it’s dangerous to go to the market when you haven’t eaten anything. The temptations are so great when your stomach is rumbling. I don’t buy cookies or candy or cakes, no donuts or pastries lure me with their siren songs. No, for years now my greatest challenge when grocery shopping while hungry is to escape the cheese department without spending a fortune.
I’ll admit it now. I’m a sucker for cheese. Any cheese. All cheese. I love cheese.
I started thinking about Fromage Fort (literally meaning “strong cheese”) after Christmas, when I had a lot of various cheeses leftover from entertaining. I’d been meaning to post this for a while, but never got around to it. You see, I think I’m part mouse; I’ll nibble on leftover bits of cheese until they are gone, rarely leaving enough scraps to make this recipe for posting.
But I was determined. And I succeeded, finally.
To make Fromage Fort, you really do just take remnants of cheese and blend them together in a food processor with some garlic and white wine. That’s all there is to it. The resulting blend of cheese is smooth and spreadable and is perfect for crackers or crusty bread. I’ve even used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches (read: really fabulous grilled cheese sandwiches).
While you can age this cheese spread by keeping it covered in the refrigerator for a few days, you can also serve it immediately. Which, of course, is what I do (not being able to resist).
When making Fromage Fort, you want to remove the rinds from any cheese scraps, grate any hard cheeses, and if you use a strong cheese (like the Stilton I used) use it sparingly so as to not overpower the other cheeses.
There really aren’t exact measurements for making Fromage Fort, since everything you add depends on what cheeses you use and how much there is, how smooth you want it to be (which would increase or decrease the amount of wine used), and how garlicy you like it.
This time I used a combination of Stilton, Jarlsberg, St. Andre, and Smoked Cheddar. My bits of cheese equaled a total of 12 ounces, to which I added two small cloves of garlic and about 1/3 cup of white wine. So, that will give you a guide. But use your own judgement. You can do it!
But try this with your scraps of cheese. I can promise you, you’ll have a new favorite cheese spread (every time you make it).
p.s.: If after sitting in the refrigerator for a few days you find your Fromage Fort has gotten a bit crumbly in texture, just stir in a little more white wine.
- 12 ounces of a combination of cheeses (I used Stilton, Jarlsberg, St. Andre and Smoked Cheddar-be sure to remove rinds and if you use a hard cheese - like Parmesan, grate it first)
- 2 small cloves of garlic (about 1½ teaspoons)
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- Place the cheeses and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cheese is crumbly.
- Slowly drizzle in the white wine until the cheese is the smooth consistency you desire.