Spicy Pimiento Cheese

SpicyPimientoCheeseVertbfLOHere’s the deal:

We all like my Paula Deen-based pimiento cheese spread – be it on a cracker, or slathered on top of a burger; but this slightly lighter, slightly spicier alternate was also pretty darned popular.

The original recipe from Matt Armendariz somewhere on da Google DID called for mayonnaise, but I cut that out in favor of a more cheesier – ermmm, in a GOOD way – texture that was as nice spread on tortillas for quesadillas as it was on crackers or veggies. I served it on a romaine leaf for the look, but a bit dabbed into an endive spear as SrirachabfLOa nibble is truly lovely.

•1 lb cheddar cheese
•2 to 4 oz pimiento plus a little of the juice
•1-1/2 to 2 tsp sriracha

A note on Sriracha (a spicy Thai-style chili sauce – made here in the States by a company in Rosemead, CA): Some claim that true Thai sriracha, named for the Chonburi province city of Si Racha is, while still spicy, sweeter and thicker. Our local market carries Mae Ploy™ sweet chili sauce, which I quite like on any number of goodies, that I think may be more true to the original. Use either – or, more better, BOTH!

Grate the cheddar (or run it through the food processor fitted with the metal blade) and combine it with the pimiento, some of the pimiento juice, to loosen things up, and the Sriracha (and, if you’re feeling all mix-y mix-y, some sweet Thai chili sauce as well – I’ll have to try it that way next time).

You could use this right away, but I think it tastes better if you cover and let it sit in the fridge overnight to blend the flavors – it’s your choice.

Ermmm, and you COULD, if you really want, add mayonnaise – about 1/2 cup I’d think – but it really doesn’t need it.

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