Did you have a fancy Valentine's Day dinner with a cheese plate? Did you decide to ride out the weekend's sub-zero temperatures* with some comforting mac and cheese? Did your Mom come to visit and leave behind a half-empty bottle of Chardonnay?
*For my East Coast friends, obviously, since here in SF El Nino has deserted us for summer again.
If you said yes to any of the above, let me introduce you to your new best friend, a superhero that will swoop in and rid your fridge of any last scraps of cheese you don't know what do do with or that last pour of leftover white wine that's not quite enough for a glass. Fromage fort will take all of your sad, remaining knobs of brie or goat cheese or cheddar or parmesan, or really anything you have, and with a little bit of garlic and wine, turn it into the cheese spread of your dreams. You could stop there, but why would you, when you can then toast some bread, slather on the cheese, toast it again until gooey and golden with crispy frico edges, then slap two of those toasts together into the the meltiest and least boring grilled cheese sandwich of your life.
You might have some questions, like "Does it matter what kind of cheese I use?" or, "Does it still go with tomato soup?" or, "What is leftover wine?"
The answers to those, in order, is no, as long as you have one good melter in there and no conflicting flavors; yes, it goes amazingly with tomato soup; and LOL I don't know either.
Fromage Fort Grilled Cheese
Cheese spread adapted from Jacques Pepin. Makes enough for 3 or 4 sandwiches.
8 oz cheese (any kind you have leftover, preferably at least one that melts well)
1 clove garlic
1/2 shallot (or one small)
1/4 cup dry white wine
fresh ground black pepper
salt, if needed
slices of good bread
butter or olive oil
- In a food processor, combine garlic and shallot and pulse to chop. Add cheeses, wine, and black pepper and pulse to combine. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Take an even number of slices of good crusty bread and generously butter one side, or brush with olive oil. Toast under a broiler until golden. Flip slices over and spread a generous amount of fromage fort on each. Place back under the broiler and toast until golden and melting.
- Remove from oven and sandwich the slices together. Serve immediately.