An easy pimento cheese recipe, featuring freshly grated Cheddar and Havarti cheese.
The best pimento cheese recipe ever — that’s what you’re looking for, right? I’m happy to report you’ve come to the right place. The Anthony Kitchen is a Southern kitchen, sharing a little Southern recipe know-how with the rest of the world, and pimento cheese is nothing, if not a Southern dish. So, let’s get on with the “know-how,” shall we?
WHAT IS IN PIMENTO CHEESE?
Pimento cheese typically consists of shredded Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and (the obvious ingredient) pimentos. Pimentos are pieces of finely diced, roasted red bell pepper. It is used both as a dip and a sandwich spread and is a common filling for Southern-style tea sandwiches.
PIMENTO CHEESE INGREDIENTS:
Earlier I promised you the “best pimento cheese recipe ever,” and now, I fully intend to deliver. Rather than just sticking with the same ol’, same ol’ formula, this is a souped-up version. The flavor profile does not stray far from what is expected of a traditional pimento cheese. It remains creamy and rich, with an emphasis on sharp Cheddar and roasted red peppers.
However, a little sprucing up never hurt anybody, and it certainly never hurt a cheese spread. In this recipe, we are taking pimento cheese to the next level, enlisting new ingredients like shallots for complexity, horseradish for just a bit of heat, creamy and mild Havarti cheese and even a bit of vinegar for some added tang.
Small alterations to one of the dish’s key components make a difference as well. For instance, using store-bought whole, roasted red peppers, rather than water-logged diced pimentos improves the overall texture of the cheese spread.
HOW TO MAKE PIMENTO CHEESE USING A FOOD PROCESSOR:
Now let’s talk about how you make it: For this recipe specifically, we will be enlisting one the handiest kitchen tools around, the food processor. Most food processors these days come equipped with attachments. Attachments like the shredder and the slicer, and then the most commonly used the blade. For this recipe, I use both the shredder attachment and the blade.
This method makes seriously cuts back on our a prep time and makes for a smooth and creamy base for our pimento cheese.
We begin with the shredder attachment and grate both the Cheddar and the Havarti cheese using the shredder attachment. Be sure the Havarti is very cold before grating, otherwise, it will prove difficult to grate as it is a very creamy cheese. Once the cheese is shredded, it is emptied out into a bowl, and the shredder attachment is replaced with the blade.
The cream cheese goes in, along with mayonnaise, diced shallot, horseradish, vinegar and salt, and processed until smooth. Then, half of the Cheddar and all of the Havarti goes back into the food processor, along with half of the diced red peppers, and pulsed to combine.
The pimento cheese is then transferred to a bowl, where the remaining Cheddar and red peppers are folded in, ensuring jus the right amount of texture and bite for the perfect pimento cheese dip.
Not only is this recipe vibrant and extremely fast to assemble, it can be used for more than just a spread on crackers or a tea sandwich filling. Smother a burger with it, toss it in with some macaroni noodles, or even serve it as an appetizer alongside a platter of crudites. Whichever way you choose to eat it, enjoy.
- 1 (12 ounce) jar of roasted red bell peppers (in water)
- 2 cups freshly grated Sharp Cheddar cheese separated
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Havarti cheese
- 6 ounces room temperature cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon distilled vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Remove peppers from the jars and dab dry with a paper towel. Finely chop and set aside. Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, shallot, horseradish, vinegar and salt to the food processor fitted with a blade attachment, and process until smooth.
Add 1 cup of the Cheddar, all of the Havarti and 1/2 of the red peppers to a food processor and pulse several times, just until the mixture comes together. Carefully remove the mixture from the processor and transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Gently fold in remaining cheddar and peppers.
Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Makes about 1 1/2 cup.
Look for roasted red bell peppers in the international aisle of your grocery store, alongside other imported Italian/Greek ingredients.