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.
- 1 cup (4 ounces) Cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 cup (4 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon yellow onion, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup jarred sweet pimentos, diced
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses, onion, garlic, mayonnaise, pimentos, chipotle chile, cilantro, cumin, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. Store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.