Pimiento Cheese

A request from a co-worker – sort of. We were talking about retro party food, and pimiento cheese, though always a classic in my estimation, fits well into a retro party menu.  I told her she needed this recipe.

This is a recipe I adapted from James Mc Nair’s Cheese Cookbook. This stuff makes the best little tea sandwiches you can imagine. Cut the crusts off thin slices of bread and toast.  Spread this in the middle.  Stand back lest you be trampled.  (My other favorite tea sandwich is Gruyere, grainy mustard and asparagus.)

3 medium-sized fresh red pimientos or other red sweet peppers

2 c. (about 6 oz.) grated high-quality Cheddar or other cheese (Grafton, Tillamook, or Cabot would all be good here.)

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/4 c. mayonnaise

Salt to taste

Cayenne pepper

Place the peppers over an open flame or under a broiler and turn frequently until charred on all sides. Place the pepper in a tightly sealed container until cool, about 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the container and rub off the blackened skin. A paper towel is a good aid for this.  Dry the peppers carefully, then cut them in half, remove and discard seeds and veins, chop the flesh, and set aside.

Place the cheese, garlic, mayonnaise, salt and cayenne pepper to taste in a food processor and process until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add the chopped peppers and blend just to combine.  Makes about 3 cups. 

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