We interrupt these Thanksgiving preparations to bring you a Public Service Announcement. This is only an announcement. This post will take less than five minutes to read and less than five minutes to prepare. You may then return to cooking for your feast:
Did you get invited to a last minute shindig? Do you need just-one-more-thing to round out your holiday feasts? Do you love cheese?
That last question is the most important really, because this is a recipe for cheese lovers. Serious cheese lovers only. Because this is how you use up the odds-and-ends in your cheese collection. You do have a cheese collection, right? A nub of Romano, a hunk of Cheddar, a couple tablespoons of crumbled bleu, some Asiago pieces rattling around in a bag or a drawer or a container in your refrigerator…
Well, the French ride to the rescue here, with the classic Fromage Fort. Fromage fort translates as “strong cheese” and believe you me, there’s nothing wussy about it. It is CHEESE writ large. It is a cheese spread from the country that many people find synonymous with cheese.
So what is Fromage Fort like? (Look away, my French friends. You may be horrified at this description.) It’s kind of like good ole American pimiento cheese, but minus the pimientos and plus wine. How could you possibly go wrong?*
*Let me tell you how you could go wrong. You could use Velveeta or American cheese. If you do that? You’re totally on your own. Blech. Don’t misunderstand. There’s a time and a place for both of those, but neither of those belong here. Emphatically. Amen.
The only specialty item you’ll need is a food processor. That’s kind of non-negotiable here for the best texture. Other than that, the world is your Fromage Fort oyster. You can make this five minutes before running out the door or a week in advance. The longer it sits, the stronger it gets!
Serve with crackers or crusty bread or veggie platters or on baked potatoes or pretzels or… or… or… You get the idea!
Important Cheese Eating advice: When making Fromage Fort, try to steer away from using too much from the bleu cheese or really salty cheese families (Asiago, Romano, Parmesano). Let those be “accent” notes. Use a milder cheese (Cheddar, Jack, etc…) as the melody!
- ½ pound of assorted cheeses (Cheddar, Asiago, Romano, Parmesan, Monterey Jack, Colby, Swiss, etc...)
- ¼ cup of dry white wine (or more, depending on desired texture)
- ½ a large clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Optional: Chopped herbs for garnish
- Grate cheeses and add to the bowl of a work processor fitted with a metal blade. Add remaining ingredients and fix lid onto the food processor. Process until you have a spreadable consistency. Check the texture. If you want it runnier, add a splash of white wine and process again. Scrape into a bowl or a ramekin. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to a week.
- If desired, garnish with chopped herbs.