If you’ve been doing your duty by British cheesemakers you may well have a few odd pieces lurking in your fridge you couldn’t bring yourself to throw away and which are now past their best.
But don’t chuck them. The French have this thing called fromage fort which is a pungent garlicky, spicy cheese spread which accommodates all your odds and ends. (Fromage fort means strong cheese and it certainly is!)
This is not so much a recipe as a method as you just freewheel with what you’ve got available.
You will need
Some odd scraps of cheese that have seen better days (I used the tail end of some Lincolnshire Poacher, Killeen and a washed rind cheese called Witheridge - probably about 175g in total You can use a blue but it tends to turn it a rather unlovely grey colour)
Garlic (I used 2 smallish cloves)
Dry white wine
Cayenne pepper or chilli powder
You will also need a food processor
Trim the rind and any scruffy bits off your cheese and cut into fine slices. Peel and finely chop the garlic
Put the garlic and cheese in the small bowl of your food processor and blitz until crumbly or smooth. How smooth it gets at this stage depends how soft your cheese is - leftover brie will obviously make it softer than cheddar.
Gradually add enough wine to make a spreadable or even dippable consistency. I used about 75ml
Add cayenne or chilli powder to taste. (If you mix it in the spread will turn pink which isn’t a big deal but I think it looks nicer sprinkled on top as in the picture above.)
Serve with crackers, breadsticks or sourdough toast.
If you’re going to eat it immediately you could also add some fresh herbs like chopped parsley or chives but don’t if you’re going to keep it for any length of time. It’ll last in the fridge for a couple of days.
You can use brandy or eau-de-vie instead of wine in which case get the consistency almost right with a little milk or water and add it cautiously, bit by bit otherwise it will taste even stronger!
What to drink: Crisp white wine, rosé, a glass of Beaujolais, maybe even a strong French beer like Jenlain.
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