Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Pimento Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
Pimento Cheese
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 ½ cups Creole cream cheese (recipe follows), or regular cream cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
Creole Cream Cheese (yields: 8 pints)
  • Recipe courtesy: Poppy Tooker
  • 1 gallon skim milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 - 8 drops liquid vegetable rennet (can be purchased in health food stores)
Instructions
Pimento Cheese
  1. With a pair of tongs over an open flame of a stovetop burner or on an outdoor gas grill, hold the bell pepper close to the fire. As the skin of the pepper begins to blacken, rotate the pepper until all surfaces have been burnt, about 5 minutes. Move the hot pepper to a zip lock plastic bag or a brown grocery bag and close. Once the pepper has steamed inside the bag, remove and peel off most of the blackened skin. Move the flesh of the pepper to a chopping board and dice into small pieces. Retain for later use.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, finely grated cheddar, diced red bell pepper, onion, celery, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Combine all ingredients until fully blended.
  3. Once combined to a creamy texture, add the shredded cheddar cheese along with a pinch of salt and a grind of freshly ground black pepper. Stir together until all is evenly incorporated. Taste and add a dash of hot sauce for a bit more spice if you like.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the mixture. Serve this in a variety of creative uses, but simply spread on a saltine or between two pieces of white bread is pimento perfection in my book.
Creole Cream Cheese
  1. In a large stainless or glass bowl mix together all ingredients. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave out on kitchen counter at room temperature for 18 - 24 hours.
  2. You will then find one large curd cheese floating in whey. Take pint sized cheese molds (or make your own by poking holes in plastic pint containers with a soldering iron) and a slotted spoon and spoon large pieces of the cheese into the molds.
  3. Put molds on a rack in a roasting pan and again cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow cheeses to drain for 6 - 8 hours before turning out of molds and storing in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks.
  4. To serve, pour a bit of cream on top and sprinkle with sugar or eat savory style sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Notes
Note that cheddar is used twice in this recipe – grated as part of the creamy base and then again shredded as a more substantial component. Find a really good aged Vermont cheddar and it will elevate this recipe to new heights. I urge you to make this at least one day before you plan to serve it since the longer it sits, the better it gets. The Mauthe's Progress Milk Barn Creole Cream Cheese is available at a variety of locations posted on their website. UPDATE: It has been reported that Dorignac's Supermarket in Metairie, LA is now making Creole cream cheese in house.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at https://acadianatable.com/2015/11/16/red-pepper-pimento-cheese/