Fromage Fort Is a Cheesy Spread Made From Wine, Cheese, and Butter

Cheese, butter, wine—name a more iconic trio.

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

My parents are notorious cheese hoarders. There is never a time when I’m at their house and their cheese drawer isn’t overflowing with Havarti for my mom and a sharp Irish or Australian cheddar for my dad, plus whatever called their names at the grocery store that week.

Unfortunately I’ve inherited this trait. I can’t resist combing through any “just-enough” cheese bin and taking one or two home with me. But when a regular cheese-and-cracker combo isn’t hitting the spot anymore, or I have a leftover hunk from a recipe and I don’t know what to do with the rest, fromage fort is my savior. Quite literally meaning “strong cheese” in French, it is the divine combination of cheese, butter, and wine. Blended up with the allium or herbs of your choice, it becomes an impossibly addictive and infinitely adaptable spread, and though it feels posh, the only thing you need to make it is a food processor.

It requires about 8 oz. cheese, room temperature (you can always do more, but depending on the size of your food processor, you may have a hard time doing less). Part of the fun is figuring out which cheeses to play against each other. In general bluer, funkier, or saltier cheeses will have a more dominating flavor than milder cheeses, so use less of them if you want the flavors of any other cheeses to come through. Try balancing 1 or 2 oz. of your blue or funky cheese with 3 or 4 oz. of something mild and buttery, like Muenster or Gouda, and round out the rest with familiar fridge standbys like goat cheese, Parmesan, or cheddar. Grate any harder cheeses and cube or crumble softer cheeses. If you want to add garlic—and you do—give a clove a rough chop. Continue reading “Fromage Fort Is a Cheesy Spread Made From Wine, Cheese, and Butter”

Recipe “tarte flambée” french ‘pizza’ of cheese & ham 

I was first introduced to tarte flambée, which comes from Alsace, with the explanation that it’s France’s answer to pizza. In fact, though, it’s not much like pizza at all

SERVES 4-12

DOUGH

250g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

½ tsp salt Continue reading “Recipe “tarte flambée” french ‘pizza’ of cheese & ham “

Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoule 


French recipes Four hearty traditional dishes that owe more to the farmhouse kitchen than to haute cuisine, including poule au pot and duck à l’orange

Poule au pot (pictured above)

The story goes that France’s King Henry IV declared that every family in France should have the means to eat chicken every Sunday, and from this, the poule-au-pot was born.

Poule-au-pot is chicken simmered in water with vegetables and aromatics. The broth can either be served separately or with the chicken and vegetables. A spent hen – a chicken bred to lay eggs – is traditional for this dish. Tougher and more gamey-tasting than chicken bred for meat, such a hen would require a longer simmering time than is indicated below, at least two hours, to become tender.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

Beef bourguignon

Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr 25 min
Serves 4

1 tbsp lard or oil
450g beef chuck or top round steak, not too lean, cut into large cubes
6 small onions, or shallots, peeled
150g lardons or streaky bacon, diced
tbsp flour
1 garlic clove, peeled 
1 bottle red wine, ideally a light red burgundy or red hermitage
tbsp tomato puree
1 bouquet garni – thyme, bay leaf and parsley tied in a bunch with string so it can be easily removed before serving
Salt and black pepper
12 small mushrooms
Parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Heat the lard or oil in a large pan on a high flame and fry the meat until browned on all sides, then add the onions and fry until those are also browned.

Meanwhile, in another pan, sweat the bacon in some oil or lard for a few minutes [ . . . ]

More recipes at THE GUARDIAN: Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoulet | Food | The Guardian