I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a tub of pimento cheese in my refrigerator. This creamy combination of cheese, mayonnaise, and pickled red peppers known as pimentos (though spelled pimiento by those not from the South) is quite versatile. It works well as a dip for chips, as a filling for celery, or as a spread for a sandwich. And as it’s a comforting crowd-pleaser, you’ll find it is welcomed not only at celebrations but even after a funeral.
Now, you certainly don’t have to wait for a funeral to make pimento cheese, as it’s appropriate anytime. People love to argue about how best to make it, and there may be purists who scoff at my inclusion of chipotle chiles, lime juice, and cilantro. I don’t mind — it just leaves more for those of us who like it spicy.
Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or celery sticks. This also makes a fine filling for a whole, hollowed-out jalapeño.