I do love a good pimento cheese spread. You know, the kind that you can tell the cheese was grated by hand, the peppers actually taste like they were roasted, and it has just the right amount of tang and spice. Paired with some crispy veggies and crackers, I could eat it by the gallon!
Fellow TSC alum Deana Tanner Bibb’s Proper Pimento Cheese is most definitely in this category (it’s seriously good!). But most pimento cheese spreads are unfortunately not like Proper Pepper. They tend to be very heavy on the mayonnaise and light on the flavor, and I’m not a fan of either of those things. But I am a HUGE fan of cheese in general, and especially goat milk cheeses.
Which is the reason that when I set out to create my own recipe for pimento cheese, I decided to use a nice soft fresh Chevre goat cheese as the base, instead of mayonnaise. I also add in some goat cheddar cheese to up the tang (you could also use cow’s milk cheddar too), and roasted red peppers instead of pimientos to give it some depth. But the secret to my pimento cheese is that I also add Peppadew peppers, and some of the Peppadew brine to the spread. These little pickled peppers add a lot of sweet hot flavor, and the brine helps smooth out the consistency of the spread.
What is a Peppadew pepper you might ask? Well, it’s a small red pepper known as a “piquante pepper” that is from South Africa. These slightly spicy peppers are pickled in brine to enhance their sweetness, and it gives them that classic puckering tartness that I personally love. You can find Peppadews in the antipasto section of gourmet groceries or delis, and they come in either a red or golden color (that pretty much taste the same). I like to use a mix of the colors to give my pimento cheese a deep orange-red color.
So the next time you are in the mood for pimento cheese, I hope you will give my recipe a try. I promise that you won’t miss the mayonnaise!
Makes about 2 cups of spread
6 ounces fresh goat cheese (Chevre), softened at room temperature
6 ounces goat cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Peppadew peppers, roughly chopped
About 1 tablespoon of the juice from the Peppadew peppers
1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Frank’s (use more or less as desired)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
What’s your favorite pimento cheese recipe? Share with us in the comments!