Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pimento Cheese and Memories of Boston in Winter

I can't believe it has been 5 years since my last trip to Boston for Charlotte & Tim's Annual Christmas Barbecue! What an amazing time it was — a barbecue extravaganza with fabulous food and friends! Warms my heart to think back to that trip. There was a foot of snow the day we made the trip from our home in Philly. Travel was treacherous, but once we made it to my friend Julie & her husband Rich's house for the night and had some wine, all was right in the world.

I always think of Charlotte whenever I make Pimento Cheese — one of her specialties from her roots in North Carolina. She adds peppadew peppers and hot sauce to hers and it is delicious. I made a batch today, but didn't have any pimentos, so I decided to make up my own new variation using roasted red peppers and fresh jalapeños. I think it is pretty fantastic — I will have feedback tomorrow when I share with friends.

Stephanie's Cucina Spicy "Pimento" Cheese

1 pound extra sharp cheddar, grated fine
1 (7 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped small
1–2 fresh jalapeños, minced*
2/3 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just combined. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour for the flavors to meld. Serve on crackers, celery stick. Great with pieces of smokey ham!

* Taste test the jalapeños for heat. I used 2 whole jalapeños with seeds and the dip is nicely spicy — not overpowering. Jalapeños can vary in heat though, so be sure to test and add as much or as little as you like.

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