Fromage Fort is a very clever presentation of - wait for it - leftover cheese!
Is there anything sadder than the dregs of that cheese platter you so lovingly put together- choosing a combination of creamy, soft and hard cheeses? Some mild, some strong.
And since many specialty cheeses can be quite expensive you will be thrilled to know how you can turn those last little bits into something useful!
This trick comes in handy especially at this time of the year when you may be entertaining several days in a row. Most of us want to produce a cheese plate that is fairly new and fresh looking. Some firmer blocks of cheese still look okay after they have had some cut away if they hold their shape.
Others like that last couple of ounces of Brie where the cheese has started to collapse and ooze out of the rind look pretty pathetic.
Well from now on - stick any dodgy remains into a baggy in the fridge.
This 'recipe' is an old French tradition. And does anyone know cheese better than the French?
You take leftover cheese bits - a pound will give you about 2 cups of Fromage Fort -which by the way just means 'strong cheese'- blend it together; add some dry white wine, some garlic and herbs if you care to.
You can mix up pretty much any combination of cheeses. You should cut hard cheese to small pieces or even grate it. The softer cheese can go in in chunks. Pulse it a bit, add the wine and garlic and other herbs if you are using them. Pulse until evenly mixed, transfer to a small dish, cover and let it sit till you are ready to use it. It will keep in your fridge up to a week or so.
It needs at least an hour to meld the flavours and overnight is even better.
The mixture is still rather wet after just a couple of hours but by overnight the wine has been absorbed into the mix.
The French serve it with baguette or crackers cold or melt it on toasted baguette sliced.
I used a combination of Brie, Goat cheese and a medium Azorean cheese called Corvo (kind of like a very mild Gouda).
Jacque Pepin's recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic. I used 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small clove.
I found the garlic overwhelming if I was using it as a spread, cold from the fridge. It was good melted on toasted baguette and I am using it as a pizza base tonight.
I would make an awesome garlic bread where you are going for the garlic profile.
I will reduce the garlic the next time if I want it as a stand in for a cheese ball type thing.
You can use your imagination here depending on you taste. I thinks some green onion in a milder mix might be good. Parsley or some pimento would be good as well.
I served some caramelized onion on the melted cheese and that was delicous.
- 16 oz leftover cheeses room temperature
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 clove garlic you can use 1-3 cloves depending on how much garlic taste you want.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsps fresh herbs (optional) parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary to taste
- Remove rind from hard cheeses. Grate or cut hard cheeses finely. Break soft cheeses into chunks.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until uniformly mixed. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight. Will keep in the fridge about a week.
- Serve with crackers or baguette. Can be served cold or warmed.