Cheese Log with Walnuts

It seems like I’ve been entertaining a lot lately. I love having company. But what that means is that I have a lot of extra cheese on hand, because I always purchase good cheeses for entertaining.

Inspired by a recipe by Jacques Pepin, I decided to combine all of my leftover cheeses and make a cheese log. Jacques Pepin calls this fromage fort, which literally translates to “strong” cheese.

That’s really a misnomer because there’s nothing strong about this cheese unless you choose to make it strong. It’s all about your choice of cheeses. I used goat cheese, Manchego, and Fontina.

In his book, Chez Jacques, Jacques tells the story about how his father always made crocks of cheeses created by whatever leftover cheeses they had on hand. He also included other things like wine and sometimes garlic. His father’s cheese creations were definitely strong because he aged them for about 1 1/2 weeks in the cellar before serving.

Mrs. Pepin follows the same method of combining leftover cheese to make fromage fort, but unlike the “old” days, uses a food processor. She also adds some cream cheese or cottage cheese if the cheeses are on the dry side. I use butter for that purpose.

I’m not including cheese weights in this “recipe,” because the whole point of making this fromage fort, or potted cheese, is using what you have left over.

Cheese Log with Walnuts

Goat cheese, at room temperature
Manchego, chopped or grated
Fontina, chopped coarsely
Butter, at room temperature
Walnuts

I placed the goat cheese and the grated Manchego and Fontina in a large bowl. Then I added some butter just to make things a little softer and smoother.

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I toasted the walnuts. Then I chopped them on a cutting board.

I layed out a piece of plastic wrap on my workspace, and then carefully placed some of the chopped walnuts on the plastic wrap. I did this instead of just pouring the walnuts onto the plastic, because I didn’t want to include the walnut “powder” that comes from chopping the walnuts. I wanted the bigger, cleaner pieces.

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I used my hands to mix everything together – it was almost like kneading a greasy bread. It all could have been done in the food processor as well.

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Then I formed a log of sorts and pressed it down onto the stretch of walnuts.

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Then I added more walnuts, and kept turning over the log until all sides were completely covered with walnuts.

cheese1

Wrap the log securely and store in the refrigerator.

At least 2 hours before serving, remove the log from the fridge and place on the serving plate. Then let it come to room temperature. Serve with crackers or bread.

This is really good cheese to serve with charcuterie and olives or cornichons, as well as other cheeses.

You don’t have to turn your cheeses into a log. If you prefer, just place the mixture in a crock. But if you stick to the log idea, different nuts can be used. Instead of nuts you could use only chopped herbs in the summer. And, you could use dried fruit as well – think dried cranberries and pistachios for the holidays!!

Do this yourself some time and create a new cheese with your leftovers!

By Published On: October 16th, 201341 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

41 Comments

  1. emmabarrett1508 October 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM - Reply

    We will have to try this out at http://www.surreyKitchen.wordpress.com. My husband adores any kind of cheese. In fact he often complains there is no food in the house when the fridge is stacked high with goodies. What he means is we are out of cheese!

    • chef mimi October 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM - Reply

      hahaha! I’m the cheese person in this house, unless my daughters are visiting!

  2. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward October 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM - Reply

    I love your combination of cheeses…. especially the chevre and manchego. Nice way to turn a few fancy cheeses into fabulous.

    • chef mimi October 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM - Reply

      Thank you! It turned out to be a brilliant combination!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward October 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Agreed!

      • chef mimi October 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        I’m not sure what you agree with, but thanks!!!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward October 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        “Thank you! It turned out to be a brilliant combination!”

        I agree – I made it this afternoon. :-)

      • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        Fabulous!!!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward October 17, 2013 at 9:31 AM

        You had me at Manchego. ;-)

      • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        isn’t that really one of the best cheeses ever?!!!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward October 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        Oh, YES. I feel sad for the twenty one years of my life spent without trying it. I’ve been making up for lost time the past decade or so!

  3. apuginthekitchen October 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM - Reply

    Never thought to combine different types of cheese into a log, it’s a brilliant idea and just perfect for the holidays! Thanks for posting this.

  4. ladyredspecs October 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM - Reply

    Delicious! I sometimes make a similar concoction with cheese ends. Your presentation is very elegant!

  5. myhomefoodthatsamore October 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM - Reply

    Fantastique!

  6. yummychunklet October 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM - Reply

    I’ve never made a cheese log. I’ll have to try this one!

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM - Reply

      So so easy. And it was fun mixing the cheeses.

  7. richardmcgary October 16, 2013 at 11:56 PM - Reply

    Nice post, Mimi, and love the cheese combo. I’ve made fromage before with different leftover cheeses but it’s been a while. Baby Lady & I love cheese of all sorts of varieties. One of our favorite “meals” is 2 – 3 cheeses (always 1 is a triple cream Brie), an Eduardian baguette, a variety of olives, some fruit and a nice bottle of wine. We probably should do the cheese log for the upcoming Holidays. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM - Reply

      My daughters and I could simply live off of those hors d’oeuvres for dinner – or, any meal, for that matter!!!

  8. hotlyspiced October 17, 2013 at 1:32 AM - Reply

    I love the beautiful plate your chopped walnuts are sitting on. This is a terrific idea and a great way to use up an assortment of cheeses just begging to be used. I would love to serve this when entertaining – it would go so well with a pre-dinner drink xx

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM - Reply

      It turned out to be a lovely combination. Loved the nuts as well, but there are so many different possibilities…

  9. My French Heaven October 17, 2013 at 1:55 AM - Reply

    What a great idea Mimi!! I always end up mixing cheeses in my plate anyway. I will make this for sure for the aperitif at my next dinner party ;)

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 8:53 AM - Reply

      It was fun to try. I think I’ll put the leftovers on pasta…

  10. Bam's Kitchen October 17, 2013 at 2:02 AM - Reply

    Hi Mimi, so glad your entertaining more so that we call benefit for some quick and easy appetizer ideas. Great cheese log, olives and wine and you are good to go! Take care, BAM

  11. mycookinglifebypatty October 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM - Reply

    I don’t eat cheese but I can imagine a tofu cheese version easily! I also really like Jacques Pepin and his simple straight-forward style. Looks like your cheese log came out beautifully, Mimi!

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM - Reply

      oh no! life without cheese. I’m very fortunately not allergic to anything, but sometimes wish I could be allergic to dairy. It puts on the pounds! Thanks for your comment.

  12. viveka October 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM - Reply

    Nice and temping, because I love all kind of cheese. When I was in action we served walnuts marinade in balsamic vinegar and honey on our cheese boards – the guests loved it.

    • chef mimi October 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM - Reply

      oh my. I am going to try that. Sounds fabulous!!!

      • viveka October 18, 2013 at 3:54 AM

        Yes, do and let me know. Cheese and nuts is a great combinaiton.

  13. Jen Minkowitz October 17, 2013 at 7:15 PM - Reply

    i never would have thought of this, but i looooove it — especially how gooey it looks once it settled at room temp

  14. eliotthecat October 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    Love the leftover idea. Cheese balls and logs always remind me of the holidays.

    • chef mimi October 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM - Reply

      Cheese logs and holidays are a perfect combination!

  15. StefanGourmet October 21, 2013 at 1:55 AM - Reply

    Interesting that you have cheese as hors d’oeuvres. As a child I was introduced to the concept of different cheeses (before I only new gouda and brie) in France, where it is served just before dessert. I’d never seen the concept of blended cheese before.

    • chef mimi October 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM - Reply

      I really prefer cheeses as hors d’oeuvres, myself!

      • StefanGourmet October 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        We wouldn’t get around to dinner after having cheese for hors d’oeuvres. We love cheese too much!

      • chef mimi October 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        That’s why we’re all overweight…

  16. Kate Donahue January 17, 2014 at 4:40 PM - Reply

    Ooo! This sounds wonderful. Love the addition of walnuts outside and spread across that crusty baguette, looks like pure heaven.

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