There is no such thing as "leftover cheese" but, if you are a cheese collector such as myself, you probably find yourself with little nubs and ends of various dairy treasures. You could keep making increasingly tiny cheese plates, or you could make fromage fort.
Photos by Claire Lower.
"Fromage fort" is French for "strong cheese", and it is perhaps one of my favourite spreads to make. It's kind of a
cheese choose your own adventure situation, with a different - but always delicious - outcome each time. There are no real rules here, you just need cheese, wine, garlic, butter and some herbs (if you have them).
Here we have some goat, a little taleggio, some Cabot cheddar, and a bit of Viamala.
Start by removing any inedible rinds and cutting the softer cheeses into small (1cm or so) cubes. Grate the harder cheeses and add everything to the bowl of your food processor, along with some wine, a couple of tablespoons of butter, a garlic clove or two, and a few sprigs of herb (parsley works best). You don't have to measure, but for 225g of cheese, I like to use:
- 30mL of white wine
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 garlic clove
- A few sprigs of parsley
Of course, do not feel limited by any of the above. Want a little tang in your fromage? Add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. Not feeling white wine? Add red, or even port; your cheese will still taste delicious, and it will be very pretty. Heck, a splash or vermouth wouldn't suck either. If you need some sweetness, drizzle in honey, or add a tablespoon of dried cranberries. There really is no wrong way to do this, and don't you let anyone tell you differently.
Anyway. Once everything is in the bowl, pulse it all together until you have a cohesive spread, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is nice and smooth. You can serve it immediately, let it firm up in the fridge, or even roll it into a cheese ball. Fromage fort is great on crackers, chips and breads (especially if broiled), but I'm a big fan of smearing it on radishes. (Not for health reasons; I just really like radishes.)
This is part of Eating Trash With Claire, a Lifehacker series where Claire Lower convinces you to transform your kitchen scraps into something edible and delicious.