The Clever Way Jacques Pépin Makes Use Of Leftover Cheese

You may know chef Jacques Pépin from one of the 29 cookbooks he wrote. Or, you may recognize him from "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home," the series he worked on with Julia Child. According to his website, Pépin has done these things and so much more including winning a jaw-dropping 16 James Beard Foundation Awards. In his lengthy career, Pépin has created countless recipes including ones that make good use of leftovers. His "Fridge Soup" recipe, for example, uses a variety of leftovers he finds in his refrigerator (via JP Foundation).

If you're the very definition of a cheese lover – a true turophile who never tires of it – "leftover cheese" may be an unthinkable pairing of words! But even if it makes your blood curdle like milk you might use to make cheese, not everyone inhales blocks of it like they're breaths of fresh air (or aged air for those who like matured cheeses). Fortunately, whether you love the stuff or not, if you find yourself with leftover cheese, Pépin has a solution.

Pépin gives leftover cheese a strong, new life

Jacques Pépin's culinary experience started during his childhood in France, where he also learned a thing or two about clever uses for cheese. According to Biography, not only did he have a chef for a mom, but she and his father ran a restaurant. Pépin' worked there when he was young. He also took some cooking cues from his father. As Food & Wine explains, Pépin's father would make a cheesy spread by combining "Camembert, Brie, Swiss, blue cheese, and goat cheese," with ingredients like white wine, then leaving them in a cellar to marinate. The result was Fromage fort, a dish that translates to "strong cheese" in English.

Today, Pépin's wife Gloria foregoes the cellar method and uses a food processor to make Fromage fort per Food & Wine. The outlet notes that various cheese scraps can serve as ingredients along with herbs, garlic, and wine, and suggests putting it on crackers or dipping vegetables among the potential uses for the finished spread. So, there is no need to let good cheese go to waste when you can try to make a dish that Matching Food & Wine describes as a "pungent garlicky, spicy cheese spread." (But, if you happen to be making it for guests, it might not hurt to have some mints on hand.)