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Cheese Factor

Recycle your Roquefort

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Bits of brie, chunks of cheddar, gobs of gouda. What do you do when your guests are gone and the lovely cheese plate you designed has been reduced to ends and pieces? If you're into recycling, you can do like in Europe: Turn it into something called "fromage fort." Translation: "strong cheese."

Making fromage fort is simple. Just gather up all your cheese scraps, including stuff that's been chillin' in the back of the fridge. Cut off any hard edges and random mold - if you've got blue cheese, it's supposed to be moldy, so leave it alone. Chop the cheese into cubes and chuck it in a food processor. For every pound of cheese scraps, add 1/4 cup white wine, a few tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter, a clove or two of garlic, several grinds of black pepper, and whatever herbs you'd like. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for as little as an hour or as much as a day. Spread it on crackers, bread, fruit slices or anything else that would benefit from pairing with creamy, flavorful cheese. Or serve it as part of a fancy canapé at your New Year's Eve party. Your guests will never guess they're eating leftovers.

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