This is less a recipe and more of a confession: sometimes my cheese tries to get away from me. As we were preparing to go shopping this past weekend, Clay says to me, “you know you still have cheese in the refrigerator, right? I think it’s gone off.” I did remember I had cheese still – honest. I was also pretty sure it was just fine, even though Clay thinks just about any cheese I buy that has the capacity to ripen and run has gone off from the minute I first pick it up in the store. As long as it isn’t funny and it still smells like cheese, I’m usually not worried about it. This time, though, I was aware of the fact that I will be away from my desk and at meetings this week, so might not be able to save my cheese in time.
Fromage fort to the rescue. Fromage fort is strong cheese (not, unfortunately, building a fort out of cheese, hiding inside with a bottle of wine and nibbling one’s way out). It’s a spread or dip made out of cheese that’s been lurking in your fridge, white wine, garlic and herbs. As far as I can tell, the garlic and herbs are optional. The white wine is not. I made my batch with two of the cheeses leftover from my cheese plate cheeses of several weeks ago, along with about a half cup of parmesan cheese. I doused it gently with white wine – just enough to keep the consistency spreadable – and blended in the food processor until it was smooth. It’s been good on toast and on bagels. It guarantees that the cheese will all be used up.
Some recipes note that it’s wise to include blue cheese in fromage fort in sparing quantities. I can attest to this – about half of what I had was a very ripe blue cheese and the flavor is definitely strong – fromage fort strong after all.