Monday, April 29, 2013
Oh wait, pimiento cheese does come in a little jar in the dairy case. Lookee there!
What exactly is a pimiento anyway (and why doesn't anyone pronounce the second "i" - pih-mee-ento)? They're the red thingies in green olives, right? That taste just like roasted bell peppers? Ah - they are peppers, but a cultivar also known as a cherry pepper, and not your standard bell pepper. But why mash them up with cheese and mayonnaise? That seems a little cruel, to both the pepper and the cheese.
...and I've just offended scores of Southerners with my ignorance. I may live south of the Mason-Dixon line, but I am a yankee at heart. (Notice I spelled that with a lower-case "y" so as not to be confused as a fan of a particular New York sports team, which I am most definitely not.)
I must admit I've always been a leetle, tiny, weensy bit curious about pimiento cheese, but I've never tried it. That is, not until Richard Blais' cookbook, Try This at Home, came into my life. In it, he offers a recipe for a decidedly non-traditional pimiento cheese with jalapenos, poblanos, and nary a pimiento to be found.
I used Kewpie mayo; if you do, too, omit the salt. Also, I didn't like the texture at first - it was like cheese salad. Food processor to the rescue!
Richard Blais' Pimiento Jack Cheese (adapted from Try This at Home)
8 ounces white pepper jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 small poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (or more to taste)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
Kosher salt to taste
Combine the cheese, chiles, mayo, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and salt. Pop the mixture into the food processor and give it a couple of pulses to break down the cheese a bit more and better amalgamate the mixture.
Serve with crusty bread or crackers or use in a grilled cheese sandwich.
Posted on Minxeats.com.