Since I’m not from the South, I never had pimento cheese until I had it at the Dutch Ale House a while ago and just loved it! It’s been on my to-do list for a long time and the bounty of cheeses I got from the Wisconsin cheesemakers gave me just the excuse I needed. This started out from the NY Times Cooking site, but as you’ll see below, I ended up playing with it. After smearing quite a few crackers for tasting, this ended up making a ramekin full.
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand grater (not pre-grated)
- ¼ cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
- Scant 1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons Duke’s, or Hellmann’s mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese. Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
It took a little fiddling, but this pimento cheese ended up tasting great. I’m not vouching for any authenticity here, just flavor. I don’t know whose refrigerator it’s supposed to last a week in, but it wasn’t ours!
I used some jarred peppadew peppers that were supposed to be a little spicy (but weren’t) so added a couple more—about a heaping ½ cup. Because we were still in search of a little heat, I added more dried red pepper flakes, so that was probably a heaping ½ teaspoon and then about ½ teaspoon of spicy smoked Spanish paprika.
Not to sound like a snob, but there’s never any commercial mayonnaise in my fridge, so used homemade.
If any of my Southern friends want to chime in with a more authentic recipe, I’m open.