Pimiento Cheese

        From the blog For Love of the Table

1/4 lb. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. homemade or best quality commercial mayonnaise

1 t. freshly ground pepper

1 t. sugar

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

1 lb. sharp cheddar (1/2 sharp orange & 1/2 extra sharp white)—grated (coarse or fine...as you prefer)

1 lb. red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (1 cup/8 oz.)—peppers and juices reserved separately

Splash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula—optional


Place the cream cheese in the bowl of the kitchen aid and paddle until smooth.  Scrape down the sides and add the mayonnaise.  Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Mix in the pepper, sugar and cayenne.  Add the grated cheese and peppers and paddle until you have a coarse, creamy and homogenous spread.  At this point, you may add the reserved roasted pepper juices if you like.  The more you beat the mixture, the smoother and fluffier it will become...you should mix until you reach the texture you prefer.  Taste and add hot sauce and/or more cayenne if you would like more heat.  Depending on the cheese you use, you may need to add a couple pinches of salt.  Refrigerate and serve chilled.  (The spread will keep for several days in the refrigerator.)


Makes 3 cups


(Recipe adapted from Frank Stitt's Southern Table)