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I am not, what most would call, a “picky eater”. I’m more of an “eat now ask questions later” type of eater, and I’m pretty sure I’ve always been this way. While other children were scrunching their faces at the calamari their parents ordered, my childhood self was fork-fighting my mother over the last bundle of tentacles.
I was probably an odd child, now that I think about it.
There is, however, one food that I am less than fond of: the bell pepper. When raw, the texture is reminiscent of dead-of-winter tomatoes, mealy pears, and everyone’s favorite: biting the inside of your own cheek. The flavor makes everything taste like a low-calorie frozen dinner. The roasted variety is significantly more tolerable, but I would never surmise that a dish containing roasted peppers would have been worse off without them.
With one exception: Pimento Cheese.
Ah yes, Pimento Cheese. I resisted its call for many years; I don’t tend to search out new recipes that give me more mayonnaise in my diet, or bell peppers, for that matter. Pimento Cheese is its own beast, though. Every southern woman seems to have her own recipe for it, too, but I’ll spare y’all the trouble of sifting through all of them and let you know now that mine is the best ( Just sayin’! ). Fairly spicy, bitingly sharp, delightfully tangy, and a whole lot of decadent: this stuff actually makes you want to eat the celery you’re using as a spoon to scoop it up.
A quick note on the ingredient list — the hot and sweet cherry peppers are a key ingredient for this recipe. They are occasionally difficult to find, but they are often sold under the brand name Peppadew® in the olive section of the grocery store or on the olive bar/ antipasta bar, if your store has one. I have also found them under a generic name in the olive section of Trader Joe’s. This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with either Peppadew® or Trader Joe’s, but the specific flavor of these peppers really merits calling them out specifically.
- 1/3 cup diced roasted red pepper
- 1/3 cup diced hot and sweet cherry peppers juice reserved
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 8 oz cream cheese
- .5 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- .5 lb young gouda freshly shedded
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- At medium speed, beat the mayonnaise, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of reserved pepper juice, black pepper, red pepper, and salt until well combined and all cream cheese bits are blended into the mixture.
- Add the peppers, cheddar, and gouda, and continue mixing until combined.
- If you like your pimento cheese a little thinner, add more pepper juice a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is met, but I prefer mine as written.