Pimiento Cheese

adapted from Frank Stitt, Frank Stitt's Southern Table

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 pound high-quality sharp yellow cheddar
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped small (jarred roasted red pepper is fine)
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Mayonnaise or best-quality commercial mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Splash of hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Grind the cheddar in a food processor fitted with the grating disk, or grate it on the small-holed side of a hand grater. Resist the urge to use pre-shredded cheese - it's covered in starch to prevent clumping and that starch is not going to do the pimiento any favors. 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. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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