Fromage Fort

As we came out of our post-holiday food coma, we found ourselves assessing the leftovers. Ham bones and turkey carcasses were used for stock. Roast beef and potatoes were turned into shepherd's pie. Roast vegetables were used in a frittata. There is little in the house that goes to waste and that goes for the cheese board as well. Thanks to Jacques Pépin, random pieces of cheese found new life as fromage fort.

Fromage fort

What is fromage fort?

Fromage fort or "strong cheese" is a great way to use up leftover cheese. The type of cheese doesn't really matter - mild or pungent or downright runny - all are welcome. You will want some balance of hard cheese and soft cheese to give the final product a spreadable consistency. And if you don't have much soft cheese (like brie) then you can supplement with some cream cheese.

In addition to the cheeses themselves, flavoring comes from garlic, black pepper, and white wine. As an option you could also add fresh herbs.

No two batches will ever taste the same. The results may be similar but the taste will depend on the combination of cheeses, the ripeness of the cheese, and any additions you include.

Charcuterie board
Our holiday charcuterie board

How do you serve fromage fort?

You could serve fromage fort cold or at room temperature as a spread for crackers or toast.

You could take toasts spread with fromage fort and place them under the broiler until nicely melted and browned and serve it as an appetizer. Broiling mellows the fromage fort, taking away the sharp bite of the raw garlic.

You could take those same toasts, cut them into smaller pieces, and use them as croutons on salad or soup.

Alternatively, you could place the fromage fort in a heatproof ramekin and slide it under a broiler until it's hot and bubbly and serve it as a hot dip.

Baguette toasts with grilled fromage fort
Baguette toasts with broiled fromage fort

How do you store fromage fort?

The fromage fort will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Or, if you make a large batch, it freezes well and can be defrosted in the refrigerator.

Fromage fort et baguette