Taking a southern favorite like pimento cheese spread and spicing it up with Mexican ingredients ensures your next party menu will bring a little heat. Roasted poblano peppers, pepper jack cheese and a wisp of cilantro are simple, additions to a classic dish that will turn an everyday affair into a fiesta.
Roasting Peppers 101
Traditional recipes for Pimento Cheese call for jarred pimentos. I find most dishes are far more satisfying when made with fresh roasted peppers. It is a bit messy to peel the skins, but the flavor will be worth the effort.
Remove stickers from pepper, wash and dry.
Place pepper directly on the grates of a gas burner and turn the flame to high.
Allow outer skins to char, turning with tongs, until the entire surface of the pepper is black, but not burned through.
Take care to allow the flames to hit all of the nooks and crannies.
Make sure there are no glowing red spots (avoid a flaming bag) on the charred pepper and drop it into a paper bag.
Roll the bag down to seal and allow the pepper to steam for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the pepper from the bag and rub off the charred outer skins.
Dice, slice or chop the roasted pepper and use in your favorite recipes.
Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread
This indulgent spread will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. Serve the pimento cheese in cucumber cups garnished with pepitas and cilantro or as a spread for crackers, celery sticks or cucumber rounds.
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese
- ½ C Light Mayonnaise
- 1 Poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
- 1 Red pepper, roasted and chopped
- ¼ C Chopped cilantro
- 1/3 C White onion, minced
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ C Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 C Shredded pepper jack cheese
- Salt and pepper
Combine the cream cheese, mayo, roasted peppers, onion, and garlic in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat to combine well and gradually add the shredded cheeses. Season the pimento cheese to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the spread on crackers or use as a filling for tea sandwiches or celery boats. Pimento cheese also makes for an indulgent topping for grilled burgers!
Makes about 4 cups