What does a girl who’s lived north of the Mason-Dixon line all of her life know about pimiento cheese? Well, not that much, but even if my ingredients and method are not traditional we Yankees still enjoy it and it’s a recipe friends request.
I don’t recall any memorable experiences with pimiento cheese until eating at Hungry Mother in Cambridge some years ago. Hungry Mother billed itself as modern Appalachia-inspired food which was always interesting without being odd, a contemporary interpretation of regional dishes with classic technique. At the end of the night after an enjoyable meal I liked to take home a container of their pimiento cheese. Curious to try it myself, a Google search yielded the recipe which I’ve tweaked to make my own over the years and am now thankful to have with the restaurant’s closure last summer.
I normally use the grating disc on the food processor for the cheeses. I grate both cheeses, remove the grating disc and then put the grated cheese in bowl while I put the blade into the processor bowl. I add the peppers, cream cheese and mayo at the bottom with the cheese and remaining ingredients on top. This recipe easily doubles but I’m thinking most civilized humans won’t need that amount of cheese in their refrigerator. I do think it tastes better if it has time to chill for a bit, although that is not necessary and is usually an afterthought. I don’t know how long this will keep as its usually gone within days.
In addition to using piquillo peppers at times, I have used mascarpone when we’ve been out of cream cheese and in need of a fix. Marin likes to top each cheese-covered cracker with a cornichon, so there you have it: Spanish peppers, Italian cream cheese and French pickles. Please don’t tell any southerners of these atrocities.
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (about 2 large pieces from a jar)
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
4 ounces cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Club crackers and cornichons, for serving
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor with the red peppers, cream cheese and mayonnaise going in first.
Pulse until just combined, about 8-10 times.
Serve with crackers and cornichons.
Try not to make a pig of yourself.