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by on January 4th, 2013

Fromage Fort

Looking for a way to use your leftover holiday cheeses?

Look no further. Fromage fort (four) is what you want to try. My first bite was — WOW! Why had I not heard of this “fromage fort” before?

I stocked up on several cheeses during the holidays. Trader Joes is the perfect place for me to go for different types of cheeses which are $$$ cheaper than any other grocery store and you don’t have to buy a huge piece like some of from those wholesale type clubs.

One morning when I was checking out some of my favorite blogs, I saw a fromage fort recipe at Smitten Kitchen’s site. My first thought was of all the cheeses I had from Christmas sitting in my refrigerator and I did not want to waste them.

Fromage fort is a French cheese spread and it means strong cheese and is traditionally made with different types of leftover cheeses thrown together in a food processor with some white wine, garlic, herbs and some recipes call for a little butter.  No two recipes will be the same. I think the French know what to do with cheese and I’m sure they never let it sit in the refrigerator long enough to grow mold.

I watched Jacque Pepin make this spread and he talked about how his dad would put leftover cheese in a jar with wine and blended it. He served his fromage as a spread and also topped some baguette slices with it and ran them under a broiler.

This spread can be made with hard, soft, semi-hard, sharp, tangy or milk cheeses. I’m buying a small amount of bleu which for some reason I’m missing in my holiday cheeses. Smitten used 25% bleu; I don’t think I will add more than 2 ounces at most of the bleu because I don’t want the bleu to steal the show. I would not use a yellow cheddar or (GASP) Velvetta or you will end up with a very ordinary looking cheese ball.

You will want to grate your hard cheeses and have your other cheeses and butter at room temperature. I made mine a few days before needed it (bunco again) so the flavors would meld. You can decide on the consistency you want by the amount of wine you add. Most recipes called for 1/4-1/2 cup dry white wine.

Here are the cheeses I used. A Vermont white cheddar, bleu, small amount of brie, goat cheese, goat milk gouda, and some rosemary Toscano.

I had enough cheese left over to do this recipe twice.

Weigh out one pound of your assorted cheeses. Grate the harder cheeses to make blending easier.

Add the cheeses, garlic, parsley, wine and butter to food processor and process until smooth. Add some freshly ground black pepper.

Smooth and cheesy.

No cheese here. My granite amazes me. I’ve had it for about 8 years now (Labrador Antique) and I’m always surprised to find new spots of blue/green when the light changes during the day. I still love it.

I have assorted crackers here but I bought some pretzel rolls and baguette rolls that I’m slicing up to go along with it. I just love my little silver mice and mouse knife that I bought in France last year.

Fromage Fort

1 lb. leftover cheeses
2-3 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter
1/4-1/2 c. dry white wine
2-3 Tbsp. parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste if cheese are not too salty (I used no extra salt)

Grate any of the hard cheeses (or all for easy blending). Weigh out 1 pound of your leftover cheeses.  (I think the addition of brie, camembert, blue or goat cheese is gives a little tang to the spread.)

Put the cheeses into the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, wine (I used 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.), parsley, butter and process until smooth. Add a few grinds of black pepper and pulse once.

Spoon into bowl and serve with your favorite crackers or breads.

*Note– I’ve read that this can be covered and frozen.  I ended up making two batches because I had so much cheese left over. I wrapped one crock and froze and will let you know in an update when I use the cheese and how the consistency was after having been frozen.

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