I was sitting outside this morning basking in the fall sun (10/9/11) and reading my copy of “The Gourmet Cookbook,” thinking how much I’ll miss the magazine and how glad I am that I’ve hung onto this book. I’m one of those strange creatures that likes to read cookbooks as much as I like to read novels. My Grandpa used to say that if you let a book fall open, it will automatically open to the “dirty” part. I’m sure he’d laugh if he could open one of my cookbooks, because they really do open to the “dirty” pages – just not in the way he meant. I do try to keep it clean, but the favorites always end up smudged and well worn, and tell a history of their own.
I’ve culled out many of my books over the years; with so much information on the internet and television I just don’t use them as much. I’ve also made my own books with family favorites and heritage recipes and it’s so much easier to grab a copy and cook. (I used MasterCook to print the pages and took them down to Kinkos, now Fed Ex and had them bound. I’ve also come across several sites on the internet that allow you to imput your recipes and order copies…great ideas, I think for gifts for children leaving home or newlyweds.)
Leafing through the Gourmet book and reading the recipes gave me a bit of a pang, missing all the ones, for a moment, that I’ve given away. I do take solace in the fact they’ve gone to good homes and I still seem to have more cookbooks and magazines than is reasonably sane. Let me put it this way, If I tried to work through a recipe a day, I’d be long dead before a got through my cookbooks…heck, my great grandchildren might have even been born and gone…
Getting back on subject, though, in the Gourmet book I’ve found a recipe for Fromage Fort – a spread made with bits and pieces of different cheeses…didn’t I say in my leftover section, Smidges and Titches that if all else fails, call something by a French name? If you like Pimento Cheese or have ever made Cheese Balls, I’m sure you’ll see a similarity in the ingredients and process! (I’ve made small amounts with whatever I’ve had and even used cream cheese to flesh out other cheeses – I’ve used wine, both red and white, port or nothing – use your imagination and your taste buds and let them guide you.)
This would also be a great use of cheese if you’ve had some type of cheese tasting or platter.
Recipe: Fromage Fort – from the Gourmet Cookbook
“Fromage Fort (literally, “strong cheese”) is a blend of cheeses flavored with wine or herbs. It’s a terrific way to use up leftover pieces of cheese. Remove and discard the rinds, if any, from 1 pound of assorted cheeses. Grate hard cheeses and cut softer cheeses into 1″ cubes. In a food processor, blend cheeses with 3/4 stick of softened butter and three tablespoons dry white wine until very smooth, about a minute. Transfer to a small bowl. Fromage fort can be served immediately, when the consistency is soft; if a firmer consistency is desired, refrigerate, covered for at least 2 hours. Serve with bread or crackers.”
My note: Try it spread on a nice bread and broiled, as shown above.