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Taking pimento cheese to the next level

A couple have enjoyed my pimento cheese for some time. They reciprocated with their version, made with a variety of peppers they grew and roasted. Wow! I'm thinking of collaborating with them to make a gourmet pimento cheese with their roasted peppers and a good aged Canadian cheddar for our enjoyment. Anyone out there who has kicked pimento cheese up a notch?

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  1. I like to make smoked gouda & white cheddar pimento cheese with roasted poblanos & caramelized onions...toasted on sourdough with crispy bacon is one of the best sammiches I ever made. It's also good as a cheese ball, spread on crostinis etc.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Wow, Cheryl, does that sound good. We may be on to something here!

      1. re: Cherylptw

        That sounds amazing! I've never even really thought about playing with pimento cheese, it's just something I throw together for my low-carbing daughter.

        Considering she has a (21st, yikes) b-day coming up, I guess I'm turning up the appy's a little before her b-day dinner.

        1. re: shanagain

          You must try this combination; it's so so good. You'll want to try it on a toasted roll with a poached or fried egg, spooned on top of hash browns or potato hash, on top of a baked potato, piped into deviled eggs...the possibilities are endless...

        2. re: Cherylptw

          You inspired me to buy my first poblanos. What's your preferred roasting method? I'm gonna mix with merguez sausage and sharp cheddar or feta.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I put mine on the grill and get them completely black on all sides. Then into a plastic bag for maybe ten minutes. At that point they're pretty easy to peel and you can keep as many or few seeds as you like. Except for one time I've never found them to be hot. YMMV.

            1. re: c oliver

              But be forewarned that the heat can vary quite a bit.

              1. re: DoobieWah

                As I mentioned, the first batch were crazy hot. None after that were and I actually added Cholula to boost the heat a bit. But, yeah, you always have to check peppers for heat.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Wow, peppers roasted...I nibbled on one and they are much hotter than I expected. I roasted 3 thinking that wouldn't be enough but I think I only need 1 for this batch.

            2. re: fldhkybnva

              I like them on the grill but when Im too lazy to light mine up (I don't own a grill pan), I just put them on a lined baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in the oven then peel. I skip the putting them in a bag step.

              1. re: Cherylptw

                That's just what I did, roasted at 400F but I did throw them into a bag. I'm shocked they are so spicy not sure why I just had some impression they were smoky rather than spicy. How many did you use in your batch?

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I think the heat of poblanos varies more than in any other pepper. Most are not hot, but you should sample them before you integrate them into a recipe or dish. I frequently make a soup with poblanos that has always been good, except for one time when I had to serve it in small cups because the poblanos were nuclear.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Have a plant outside and they have been relatively mild. Picked a little multicolored one off the plant and took a bite. Hotter than a serrano. I was breathing fire!

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Scuba, you know to beware the color change! It's getting late in the season for home grown rellenos.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        This was a couple of months ago and you're right but they have been so mild

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Roasted poblanos freeze well, but not for rellenos. Peel, de-stem, and de-seed them, freeze them in portions in Zip-Lock bags and you are good to go.
                            For rellenos you want fresh, with a little garden crisp flavor and texture, not over-roasted.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              They've already been chopped so I guess I can freeze them in small portions. Thanks.

                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                    A couple large ones...to but to be fair; I knew they have a kick but to me they're not hot just a bit spicy. I thought you knew....tomorrow I'm spreading it on a homemade pizza with chicken; it's going to be good....

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      Hmm, so I just took another taste. I must have bit into a stray seed earlier, now it reminds me of a green pepper without the bitter back bite.

                2. re: fldhkybnva

                  If you have a gas stove you can roast them right on a bare burner. I usually line the burner with foil to keep the stove clean.

                3. re: Cherylptw

                  Roasted poblanos with carmelized onions sounds delicious. I make a relatively traditional pimento cheese with orange sharp cheddar, monterey jack, grated onion, good mayo but instead of jarred pimentos I use jarred piquillo peppers. The flavor is so much deeper than pimentos. Love it as a spread, with celery, and for grilled cheese sandwiches with sourdough or other good white country style bread.

                4. What a good idea. I've been wanting to experiment with those smoked chiles in adobo sauce which I've just grown to adore. I wonder if a little of that pepper would be a good addition. I think the sauce would darken the product though.

                  I make my pimiento cheese the old school way, with yellow and cream cheese, and mayo. But I've often thought that chopped green olives would be a great addition as well. I would add the olives and (real) bacon bits and maybe a bit of smoked paprika.

                  But a version with the smoked peppers might be good too.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    sue, I went 'huh' when I read the cream cheese but in googling I see that can be a regional variation.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I use Duke's, sharp cheddar and roasted red peppers. Nothing else.
                      I guess it's because I only make pimento cheese a couple times a year... and it's perfect as it is.. I can't bring myself to mess with it.

                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                        That was my formula for a long time, and I only made sandwiches with it. More recently I began adding a bit of cayenne and use it as a dip. Very popular with friends, and now I'm looking for ways to make it even better.

                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                          I think I'm probably like you but I do add a spicy powder, i.e., chipotle. But, yeah, why mess with perfection? :)

                        2. re: c oliver

                          I had the same reaction, but pretty much anything is a candidate for the addition of cream cheese in my book.

                          1. re: shanagain

                            We only use cream cheese on bagels.

                          2. re: c oliver

                            I learned to make cream cheese from a newspaper recipe I found back in the 1970s. I am sure it specified part cream cheese and part yellow. I believe the recipe was one of those "stretch your food dollars" recipes. I couldn't say if it is a regional variation, or perhaps yours is the regional variation. I only ate pimiento cheese as a child from the little Kraft jars from the grocer.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              Oh, I think BOTH are probably regional variations. I grew up in Atlanta but Mother was from South Georgia.

                          3. re: sueatmo

                            Is that still called pimento cheese? That is what I call a cheese ball. Or is it still pimento cheese if you don't shape it into a ball?

                          4. I have long made my liquid base with a sweet mayo like Kewpie or Miracle Whip not because I like offending everyone, but because it balances the heat in the Sriracha, grated raw onion and Worcestershire sauce that give my cheese some kick. Toss with grated medium cheddar, diced roasted red peppers, chopped scallions. And always, if my roasted peppers are lacking, I'll dust the cheese with smoked paprika to give it an edge.

                            1. I've never even heard of pimento cheese until some years ago on these boards and I still have yet to try it! I think I'll have to make it sometime soon now.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: iheartcooking

                                I just recently tried it for the first time several days ago and it's great. I am not the biggest mayo fan so I made two batches, one with yogurt and I loved that so I guess the concept is great even if not made traditionally. My guests loved both versions.

                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                    It's so funny that the most ordinary foods suddenly become so cool/trendy. How it happened with PC is just beyond me. Growing up it was just something that made it into the regular rotation for sandwiches to take to school.

                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                      It's a Filipino thing as well, usually called "cheese pimiento" over there. I imagine American GIs brought a taste for the spread to the islands along with their corned beef and Spam.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        I'd read that. The Filipinos obviously know a good thing or two when they taste them :)

                                  2. I recently made my first batch of Pimento cheese and I don't have much reference, but it was different than what I've read is traditional and seriously addicting. I used 1/2 smoked Gouda and 1/2 Red Leicester, red onion, mix of pimentos and roasted red peppers, jalapenos and finished with chipotle powder. It was pretty spicy but so delicious. Oh I also added a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.