Pimento Cheese Three Ways

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Cheese Base:

12 ounces mayonnaise

6 ounces cream cheese, softened 

1 1/2 pounds extra-sharp Cheddar, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Crackers, for serving

Shishito Pepper:

4 ounces shishito peppers

2 teaspoons vegetable oil 

1 tablespoon sesame oil 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Pickled Pimento:

1 jarred piquillo pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped pickled banana peppers

10 dill pickle slices, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Red Pepper:

1 roasted red pepper, seeded and diced

Directions

  1. For the cheese base: Beat the mayonnaise and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the Cheddar by hand until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among three bowls.
  2. For the shishito pepper: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
  3. Toss the shishitos with the vegetable oil. Very carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the peppers. Return to the oven and cook until the skins start to color on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until the skins are golden and blistered in spots, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, then seed and chop.
  4. Fold the shishitos and sesame oil into the first bowl of cheese base; stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with the sesame seeds.
  5. For the pickled pimento: In the second bowl, fold the piquillos, banana peppers and dill pickles into the base. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. For the roasted red pepper: In the third bowl, fold the red peppers into the base; stir gently to combine.

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