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Recycling Leftovers with Fromage Fort

Still got holiday leftovers? Fromage fort, a spreadable French potted cheese made up with bits and cheese ends, is a great way to repurpose all kinds of cheeses you might have lurking in your fridge. This is a recipe Jacques Pépin’s father used to make in order to use up leftover pieces of Camembert, Brie, Swiss, blue and goat cheese with his mother’s leek broth, some white wine and crushed garlic – the whole thing was then left to marinate in the cellar. It’s ideal if you have a combination of firm and soft cheeses, or bits that are too hard to do anything but grate. Just remember that any blue cheese will overwhelm it – so use it sparingly or expect a blue cheese spread. Really, measurements don’t much matter here – just add a splash of wine until you have a blendable consistency. Once it’s all incorporated, cover and keep it in the fridge for a few days or a week to allow the flavors to evolve, if you like.

Mine has a pale tan color due to a chunk of red wine-infused cheese I added along with the whitish ones.

Fromage Fort

Adapted from Food & Wine magazine, courtesy of Jacques Pépin, by way of Smitten Kitchen and Alton Brown

1/2 lb. grated, chopped or crumbled cheese, such as Swiss, Brie, goat, Gouda, cheddar, fontina, provolone
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup dry white wine
1-2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a big pinch of fresh herbs, such as chopped rosemary or thyme (optional)

Put everything into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add some extra wine if there aren’t many hard cheeses in your mix. Pack into a shallow dish or large ramekin. The fromage fort can be served cold, with crackers and baguette, or spread on crostini and broiled for a few minutes until bubbly and golden.

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