Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Recently my husband and I took a weekend trip down to Charleston, SC for a friend’s 60th birthday celebration. The night before the party we took the opportunity to try one of downtown Charleston’s exceptional restaurants. We chose Magnolias and we were not disappointed. My husband was particularly awed by their grilled filet of beef topped with their house made pimento cheese. We had never thought of pimento cheese as a topping for steak and my honey just loved it. So, guess what he requested the next time we grilled steaks?
There are probably many places I could have just picked up some pre-made pimento cheese, but where’s the fun in that? So after perusing various recipes on the internet, I decided on this which I adapted from several different recipes. We both really like how it turned out and we used the leftovers on our sandwiches instead of sliced cheese and other condiments foe the rest of the week. My particular favorite was turkey, pimento cheese and bell pepper.

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 c extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/4 c pepper jack cheese, grated
1/2 c light Duke’s mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
4 oz chopped pimentos
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3 dashes hot sauce
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except half of the grated cheese in a food processor until smooth.
Once blended put the other half of cheese in the processor and pulse until combined. I like to do leave it a little chunky. If you want it completely smooth that is fine.
Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving

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