Chocolate, Cheese, and Wine, Oh My

For the second year Andy and I hosted a party featuring chocolate, cheese and wine. Most of our friends travel over the school Winter break. We send out an invitation asking people to pick up either some chocolate, cheese, or wine while traveling and bring it the party to share. We get together the first weekend we return from the holiday so everyone has a chance to get caught up with each other. We've had the chance to sample some excellent treats from all over the world. This year we had Pecorino from Umbria, Reblochon from France, a really strong cheddar from England, and Dutch goat cheese. Yes, things smelled a little funky, but I mean that in the nicest way.

Here are a few pictures of some of the treats we sampled.

In addition to the chocolates and cheese I like to add a few homemade treats. Brownie stuffed cupcakes, Mexican Chocolate Cake, and White Chocolate Cranberry Bars. I did make a rule that you had to eat a cupcake before you went home. I did not want any of those leftover in my house.

After everyone went home there were several odds and ends of cheese lying about, and what to do with leftover cheese?

Fromage Fort of course. Fromage Fort (Strong Cheese in French) is a creamy dip made up of leftover cheese, a little wine, come garlic, herbs, and butter. Serve it with bread, grissini, crudite, or make an over the top great grilled cheese sandwich.

Fromage Fort
This is a forgiving formula.....use what cheese you like or have on hand. Be warned that a strong, funky cheese will dominate in flavor so use them judiciously unless that's what you're looking for.

1 pound (more or less) of cheese. I used a mixture of Pecorino, another unidentified hard cheese, Edam, Brie, and Chevre.
3/4-1 cup white wine, any variety
1 clove of garlic
1-2 tablespoons of minced herbs, rosemary, chives, parsley.....whatever strikes your fancy
2-6 tablespoons of softened butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate the hard cheeses and cut or tear the soft cheeses into chunks. Put all the cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, herbs, butter and about half of the wine.  Process until smooth. Add more wine or butter if you want to loosen the mixture up a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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