Fromage Fort Cheese Spread

Fromage Fort is a French Cheese Spread consisting of leftover cheeses blended together with wine.  The flavor of the different cheeses blends together and becomes stronger over time.  I used Reggiano Parmesan, Asiago and Pecorino Romano because that is what I had on hand.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread My friend Leif is a wood working artisan who creates beautiful hand crafted pieces like the amazing cheese board in these photos.  I had planned on redoing the photos of a cheese board post I did a few years back.  I recently saw a picture of an amazing cheese board that Leif posted on Instagram and decided that this would be a great opportunity for both of us.  I asked him if I could use his cheese board in my photo shoot and that he could use the photos as well.  He said of course and we were both very stoked!

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread The photos turned out great but when Leif saw them he said, “Where’s my board?”  Haha, I had it buried under all the food.  Woops!  So I told him that I would do another photo shoot to showcase his beautiful board properly.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread A few days later I met up with a couple of friends at the farmer’s market.  We were talking about cheese and one of them had mentioned Fromage Fort.  I hadn’t heard of it before and she explained that you take all your leftover cheese to make a whipped dip out of them.  Right then, I immediately knew what I was going to make for my reshoot of Leif’s cheese board.  I looked around the web for inspiration and found Jacque Pepin’s recipe and adapted my recipe from his.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread You can serve this spread with a variety of wines like a Soave, Pinto Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Sancerre for a white or a Pinot Noir, Tempranillo or a Red Rioja for a red.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread Fromage Fort Cheese Spread Recipe:

Approx. 2 Cups

  • 1/2 Cup Reggiano Parmesan – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand which has strong notes of grapefruit)
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Dash Black Pepper
Milder Variation
  • Add in 4 oz. Chevre Cheese
Spicy Maple Pecan
  • 2 Cups Raw Pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Other additions options:
  • Crostini or French Bread
  • Pears – sliced
  • Quince Jam
  • Olives – your choice
  • Manchego Cheese Wedge
Garnish
  • Sprigs of Rosemary
Instructions:
Fromage Fort

Finely shred the three kinds of cheese, measure and add to a food processor along with the wine, olive oil, garlic and pepper.  Puree until creamy.

Pecans

Add everything to a cast iron or a saute pan and turn the on stove onto medium heat.

As soon as it starts to bubble, stir continuously.

In about 3 – 6 minutes they will start to get sticky.  When the moisture is ALL gone, turn off the heat.
Spread onto parchment paper or a baking sheet.  Don’t worry about them sticking together, when cooled you can separate them.  Wait until they are completely cooled.
Assemble

Arrange everything on a wood board or platter except the cheese spread and jam.  Serve the spread and jam in small bowls.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread

 

 

Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Manchego Pesto

This Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Manchego Pesto is one of my favorite pestos, I could literally sit and eat it by the spoonful!  It’s bursting with flavor and delightfully spicy!

3U9A9155 This is relatively spicy, depending on the heat of the jalapeños.  If you like really spicy food, you can leave the seeds in a couple or all the jalapeños. If not, then remove them all.

3U9A9141 This pesto pairs nicely with a light Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris or a white Rioja.

3U9A9242 Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Black Rice Recipe:

Approx. 1 1/4 Cups

  • 5 – 8 Jalapeno
  • 3 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Cup Manchego Cheese
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 – 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Instructions:
Roasted  jalapeno

Wash the peppers then line them in the center of a baking sheet.

 Turn the oven to broil and place the baking sheet on top shelf of the oven and broil for 4 – 5 minutes.

 Flip over and broil 3 – 4 minutes until they are well charred.

 Peel off the skin with a paper towel by rubbing off the charred skin, cut off the stem then cut in half and deseed.

 Measure and combine everything in a food processor or blender and puree.

3U9A9288 Health Benefits:

Jalapeno peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, 1 pepper provides 18 % of the daily value for men and 23 % for women.  They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which helps skin and eye health.  Jalapenos contain phenols, flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss.  The bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants and help strengthen blood vessels. They also fight nasal congestion by stimulating secretions that help clear mucus from the nose.  They contain more vitamin B6 aiding the immune system, E that protects the cells and K, which increases bone mass, than any other pepper.

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals. It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain.  Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar.  It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber.  It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto

I love a roasted pepper pesto of any kind and this Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto is out of this world!  It is bursting with flavor, just waiting to be spread on your favorite cracker or slice of bread!   I often scoop up the pesto with a raw walnut half or carrot stick and eat it for a delicious healthy snack.  It is sooo good!

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto I love a good manchego cheese!  It is a Spanish cheese produced in the La Mancha region of Spain.  This cheese is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk from the manchega breed of sheep, unless it’s the industrial version.  There are 4 different stages and flavors of manchego.

The first is only aged for about two weeks and is called Fresco.  It’s a fresh cheese produced in small  batches with a rich but mild flavor that is mainly found in Spain.  The next is the Semi Curado, which is aged about 3 months making it a bit soft with fruity, grassy and buttery notes.  The Curado is aged for 6 months is semi firm, which gives it a nutty caramel flavor.   The Viejo is aged for a year, making it more of a firm cheese with a crumbly texture and is a bit more sweet and peppery.  I tend to use the Curado the most.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto This pesto is great with a White Rioja or a Rueda.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto Recipe:

Approx. 2 Cups

  • 3 Anaheim Peppers – roasted
  • 1 Serrano Peppers
  • 1 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1 Cup Raw walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Instructions:
Peppers

Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

Pesto

While the peppers are cooling, measure all other ingredients and add to a food processor or blender.  Add the pepper to the food processor and blend well.  If you like it hot, you can leave the seeds in the Serrano peppers.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto Health Benefits:

Anaheim pepper are an excellent source of vitamin C, only a 1/4 cup provides you with the daily amount recommended for adults.  They are also very high in vitamin A, which is good for your eyes, skin and hair. Peppers are high in fiber and they are rich in phytonutrients that may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly. They are high in Vitamin K that strengthens bones and helps protect cells from oxidative damage. They also have a significant amount of B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, iron and riboflavin.

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto

This Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto is very flavorful and versatile.  The caramelized tomatoes are bursting with flavor from the garlic, thyme and basil.  The cherry tomatoes and basil add a fresh quality to the mix!

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto This pesto is one I often bring to a potluck or picnic.  It goes with almost anything from crackers, bread, crisp or roasted vegetables.

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto I love a glass of a crisp cold Soave with this pesto.  It also pairs nicely with a Pinot Gris or Tempranillo.

caramelized-herb-tomato-pesto Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto Recipe:

Approx. 2 1/2 Cups

Pesto
  • Caramelized Tomatoes – recipe below
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Tomatoes – 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 Clove Garlic – garlic press or finely minced
  • 3 Basil Leaves – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Garnish

  • Caramelized tomatoes – pureed
  • Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – quartered
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
Instructions:
Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 F

  In a bowl, mix together the garlic, thyme, basil, oil and salt.  On a large baking sheet, lay out the tomatoes in a single layer and spread the marinade over the tomatoes.

Put the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes depending on the size of the tomato, the tomatoes will start to look a little shriveled up.

 Turn oven up to 400 F for about 20 minutes to slightly caramelize the tomatoes.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, although a little brown is okay.

Pesto

In a food processor or blender add everything and puree.

Variation

Double the caramelized tomatoes and reserve half to puree and top onto the pesto and top with cherry tomatoes.

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.