Fromage fort – a fabulously thrifty and tasty French solution for repurposing all those nubs of leftover cheese.
Giving credit where it’s due, this was my sister S’s suggestion – not her recipe, but her idea. On Boxing Day, I was grumbling about a refrigerator full of holiday leftovers, including the six different cheeses rapidly aging in the cheese drawer. What was I going to do with six nubs of various cheese before they went bad?
That’s when she mentioned fromage fort. Fromage fort is a French cheese spread, literally meaning “strong cheese,” that’s made by blending together various pieces of leftover cheese, a bit of leftover white wine, garlic, and herbs. There’s a dozen of recipes out there – Pépin, Smitten Kitchen, Alton Brown, David Lebovitz, Sauver – all very similar, all very adaptable, because the idea is to use whatever leftovers you have on hand, making this thrifty French solution for too much cheese more spectacular than the sum of its parts. I recommend steering clear of very strong cheese, like blue cheese, which will overwhelm all other flavors in the final dip.
Oh, and there’s a German version, too – mixed with beer (of course!) – called Obatzda.
A fabulously thrifty and tasty French solution for repurposing all those nubs of leftover cheese.
- 8 oz. mixed leftover cheeses (hard cheese grated, soft cheese cubed)
- 3 Tablespoons full-fat ricotta, or 2 Tablespoons softened butter (if you don’t have ricotta on hand)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, blend cheese, ricotta (or butter) and garlic until well-blended.
- Slowly pour in wine with motor running until the desired consistency – I prefer a scoopable, yet slightly chunk spread. Add thyme and pepper and pulse until combined. Fromage fort can be used immediately, allowed to ripen for up to 5 days, or spread on bread and toasted in the oven.