Miss Verba's Pimiento Cheese

Whenever Verba has the urge, she will make a huge bowl of the best pimiento cheese you have ever tasted. Little drugstore lunch counters throughout the South inevitably include pimiento cheese sandwiches on their menus as an economical option. But the cheese is usually the commercially prepared variety, of indifferent quality. Making your own, as Verba does, with lots of charred roasted peppers, gives the spread a whole new life. It is perfect for a light sandwich or as a down-home dip for crudités and crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sharp yellow cheddar
  • 1/4 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise or best-quality commercial mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Splash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholulu
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


Instructions

1. Grind the cheddar in a food processor fitted with the grating disk, or grate it on the small-holed side of a hand grater.

2. Transfer the grated cheese to a bowl, add the cream cheese, white pepper, bell peppers, mayonnaise, sugar, hot sauce, and cayenne, if using, and blend all together thoroughly.

3. Refrigerate and serve chilled. (The spread will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but it usually disappears long before than.)

Prep time: 
15 minutes
Total time: 
15 minutes
Yield: 
Makes about 2 cups

Top Recipes

'The garbage can doesn't lie': The U.S. throws away 30% of its food

In the U.S. $162 billion worth of food isn't eaten annually. "An American family of four wastes 1,160 pounds of food a year," says Elizabeth Royte, who wrote "The High Cost of Food Waste" for National Geographic.