Friday, March 2, 2012

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

A couple of weeks ago, some of my co-workers were commenting on my non-southerness, noting that my culinary tastes tend to veer away from items like bacon-soaked green beans or collards. But jalapeno pimento cheese ain't on that list! I actually didn't even know that this was a particularly southern dish until I spent some time in Denver. I walked to the local Safeway, which was just a few blocks from both my house and the original Chipotle(!!), and hunted through the refrigerated section for my cheesy spread. Convinced I was just missing it, I went to ask the store clerk where I could find it. He gave me a funny look and headed down the canned goods section. I followed him down the aisle, knowing this wasn't a good sign. He had clearly misunderstood my request - maybe he thought I just wanted the pimentos. Then he turned to the left, pointed to the top shelf, and showed me this non-refrigerated jar of cheese-spread that made my stomach turn. I politely told him that it wasn't quite what I was looking for and sadly left the store, my shopping list woefully incomplete.

I've never made it before but I think this batch turned out really well. I used homemade mayo, which is lighter than Hellman's or Duke's, so I would add a little at a time until it's the right consistency for your taste.

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
Kelley Gondring

In a medium mixing bowl, combine:
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
dash white pepper

Mix in:
1 tablespoon jalapenos, finely diced
1 tablespoon pimentos, diced

Serve with crackers or pretzels.

Eat up!

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