After the holidays I always end up with small hunks of various cheeses that seem to have no further purpose than to be eaten as a snack while I’m cooking or baking in the kitchen. These chunks of small cheeses are never large enough to actually serve again for company, but tasty enough to never throw away. I find myself wrapping them individually in plastic wrap or tossing them into a larger sack until it’s too full to seal closed. However, this time I decided to create another meal with my small wedges of cheese and make these incredible melty cheese toasts.
Fromage Fort is a mixture of leftover cheeses that the French whip together with a handful of pantry items and spread on bread and enjoy either cold or warm on toast. I remember watching Jacque Pepin on a video during Covid, when ingredients were really tight, and saw him whip up a simple, yet delicious Fromage Fort. Jacque recommended to eat it as a cold spread or dip for crackers, vegetables or bread, but I decided to go a step further, and smear it on bread and place it under the broiler to create an open-faced grilled cheese, so to speak. The flavors are extraordinary pleasant, especially if you have gathered up some great bits of cheese over the holidays. Hints of garlic and white wine are gently blended to form a wonderful creamy schmear, and turn any ordinary piece of bread into a fantastic mouthwatering meal.
I love the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that you probably don’t have to go out and buy any additional ingredients. Most of us have a clove of garlic, a splash of white wine and miniature wedges of cheese sitting around in our refrigerators. As for the bread, choose something you love, but regular sandwich bread will do the trick just fine. I think a few arugula leaves and a handful of grapes offer a great accompaniment, but no worries if you don’t have those items. These soft and crispy cheese sandwiches are amazing all by themselves.
1/2 pound of cheese, any variety – cut into small wedges
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup white wine
pinch of black pepper
4-6 large slices of bread
arugula and grapes, optional
- Preheat oven to broil and place rack 9-inches from heating element.
- In a food processor, add cheeses, garlic, white wine and pepper.
- Puree until almost smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Spread fromage fort on top of bread and place on sheet pan. Broil for 2 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
- Remove and place on plates with arugula and grapes, if desired. Enjoy!