This Southern staple, in one form or another, is a very easy spread to make and a true crowd-pleaser. I’ve served pimiento cheese to many a finicky gourmet who greets it skeptically, tastes it reluctantly, savors its deliciousness in shock, and then asks for the recipe. There are endless variations—pickles, pecans, currants, onions, and so on—but this recipe, with fresh roasted peppers and Worcestershire sauce, is the one I always like the best.
YIELD: About 1 pound
¾ pound red bell peppers (2 to 3 large peppers)
½ pound sharp Cheddar cheese, preferably orange in color, grated(and weighed before grating)
½ cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Roast the peppers on a baking sheet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skins begin to blacken and blister. When the skins are fully blistered, remove the peppers from the oven, let them cool for 2 to 3 minutes, and then cover them with plastic wrap and let them steam for 15 minutes (the steam will loosen their skin). Remove the plastic wrap and peel the skin. Chop the peppers in half, discard the seeds, and dice the remaining pepper strips.
Place the cheese, diced peppers, mayonnaise, cayenne, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl and mix them together. Let the cheese mixture chill in the refrigerator, covered, for several hours, or overnight for the best flavor.
Serve as a dip, on sandwiches, or atop warm fried green tomatoes—yum!