You know how you have a recipe that you've cut out of the paper, torn out of a magazine, saved on the computer, etc? And you are really excited about it at the time and swear you are going to make it, 'cause you just know you are going to love it? Yeah, well I have way too many of those to count. But there is one that I keep running across and putting it at the top of the pile. I never have gotten around to making it...until today.
I saw the recipe at http://www.mattbites.com/ last February. I just could not get it out of my mind. I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to make it. I printed it off and put it in a plastic page protector and had every intention of making it. You know the rest of the story...you get busy and other things come up and so on and so on.
So today I dragged Bob into the kitchen (poor Bob; he just got back from a week in Seattle, has a lousy cold and here I am not even giving him a choice about helping. But he got his reward. He's napping as I sit here writing this). This was something I wanted us to make together because I knew it was going to be something special. And boy was it ever!
This is a recipe for "Fromage Fort"; "a traditional French cheese spread made with assorted leftover cheeses, various herbs, sometimes garlic, wine or other spirits." You know, all those odds and ends pieces of cheese in the drawer that are leftover? The ones that aren't big enough to do a whole lot with, but you just can't bare to throw them away because after all this is cheese we're talking about! So in this recipe you're going to combine all those lovely pieces of cheese with garlic, butter and wine. O.M.G. What could possibly be better?
This is the blog post that began my obsession with fromage fort: http://www.mattbites.com/2009/02/03/sad-lost-pencils-and-this-time-im-not-gon-cry/comment-page-1/#comment-14989
What I had to work with today were small chunks of fontina, havarti with basil, aged gouda, manchego, jarlsberg and peccorino romano. Bob combined these with a clove of garlic, a couple of tablespoons Plugra butter (as if!) and I don't know how much chardonnay. We wanted a creamy, spreadable consistency so he eyeballed it with the wine. We added the butter to kind of smooth it all out to the perfect consistency.
We spread some on a wheat thin. The angels began to sing. The ceiling lifted and light from above shown through. Okay, not exactly. But I'm telling you it was pretty darn close! This stuff is beyond amazing! And it's made from leftover bits and pieces. But who has to know that? All I know is that it is my new favorite appetizer! And think of the wonder of it all. Everytime you make it, it will be different! All according to what cheese you have on hand! Wow.
Read the post from Mattbites. He is a hoot! And try the recipe...NOW! Don't wait almost a year like I did. Now that I see what I've been missing I need to make up for lost time!
Look for me in the cheese aisle!!!
Reprinted from www.mattbites.com
You can use almost any cheese you have on hand but be gentle if it includes any from the blue family (Cabrales, Roquefort, Gorgonzola) as they tend to overpower the mix. And for the love of god do not use Velveeta. And if you’re like me throw a bit of caution to the wind and cut off any mold that has grown on your hard cheeses but never use any soft cheeses that have gone moldy. That’s not a good thing but I am not a scientist or health professional so tread carefully and don’t blame me for nuthin’- that’s my disclaimer.
1/2 pound of cheese pieces (without the rinds)
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 to 1/2 cup of white wine (depending on the desired texture. Crumbly or spreadable? You decide!)
freshly ground black pepper
In a processor add the cheese bits, garlic and white wine and process until fully blended. Depending on your cheeses and their moisture level you may need more or less white wine. I tend to eyeball it until it resembles a cheese spread. Feel free to add herbs and I’ve even seen some recipes that include butter because clearly this spread isn’t rich enough, right? Once fully mixed place into small ramekins or a bowl. Enjoy!