It stinks. It really stinks! And yet, you keep leaning in to smell more. It’s gross. It’s really gross! And yet, you can’t look away. It tastes weird. It tastes really weird! And yet, you keep going in for another bite.
This scenario pertains to me as a kid and pimento cheese. It scared me. I wasn’t sure what it was. The stuff was bright orange. But, for some reason, I loved it. It could have been that in my mind pimentos were some magical creatures, but it was yummy and weird, all at the same time.
I’d like to think my more mature, and delicate palate appreciates the subtle nuances that make this delicacy a staple on most Southern tables. Or maybe, I just realized that it’s full of cheese and tiny little red things.
I kicked mine up with some spice and extra dairy, and though it would be perfect with some beer thrown in, you may be shocked to find that I omitted it. You could use a non-smoked version of the cheeses but you’d be missing out of a lot of flavor.
The beauty of this pimento cheese lies in the countless ways in which you can use it: on celery, melted on burgers, in grilled cheese, tea sandwiches, quesadilla filling, baked and served with tortilla chips, deviled egg filling, you name it, this spread is versatile as heck!
And to answer your question, pimentos are cherry peppers – round, red peppers with a sweet flavor and the ability to rock with some smoky cheese!
Spicy Pimento Cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 4-ounce jar chopped pimentos
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground Chipotle pepper
In the bowl of a large mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed, until fluffy.
Add cheddar, Gouda, mayonnaise, pimentos, onion, liquid smoke, paprika, salt, pepper and Chipotle pepper. Beat on high for approximately 3 minutes, until ingredients are well combined.
Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve with crackers, veggies, or toasted baguette.