Fromage Fort

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Fromage fort is the ultimate way to use up leftover cheese.

Fromage Fort
Photo: Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis
Total Time:
10 mins
Yield:
4

What Is Fromage Fort?

Fromage fort is a spread made from leftover pieces of cheese mixed with white wine, garlic, and herbs. You can serve it chilled or at room temperature as a spread with crackers or vegetables, or smear it on slices of bread and bake or broil it. While the origins of fromage fort are unclear, it is believed to have been created in the French countryside as a way to repurpose leftover cheese into a delicious, spreadable treat.

Jacques Pépin says that when he was young, his father made fromage fort with leftover pieces of Camembert, Brie, Swiss, blue cheese and goat cheese, mixed with his mother's leek broth, some white wine, and crushed garlic. He would let the ingredients marinate in a cold cellar for a week or so (he liked the flavor to be really strong). Pépin’s recipe here is more of a guide, calling for half a pound of mixed cheeses to be blended with garlic, white wine, salt, and pepper. His wife Gloria encouraged him to blend the cheeses in a food processor to make it easier.

Feel free to experiment by using different combinations of cheese, and adding herbs, spices, and other aromatics. Start by taking an inventory of what you have on hand. Hard cheeses may need to be chopped up before they are mixed with the other ingredients in the food processor. You want a mix of hard and soft cheeses, but if you only have hard cheese, just add a little more butter, a scoop of ricotta or yogurt, or a little extra wine or cream so that it still comes together as a spread when processed. Go easy on the amount of blue cheese in the mix, as it can overpower the flavors of the rest of the cheeses. The end result will vary with each combination of cheese, but it’s almost impossible to make a fromage fort that isn’t delicious.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound cheese pieces

  • 1 garlic clove

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • Black pepper

  • Salt

Directions

  1. Put cheese pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic clove and dry white wine and a big grinding of black pepper.

  2. Process mixture for 30 seconds or so, until it is creamy but not too soft. Taste, and add salt if needed. Transfer fromage fort to a serving dish, or to an airtight container to store until you are ready to eat. You can also spread it on bread and broil it for a few minutes until brown and bubbly.

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