Keeping the different textures of the ingredients intact while letting their flavors meld together is key to good pimento cheese. Jarred, pre-chopped pimentos tend to be tasteless and too mushy, so be sure to start with a whole roasted pepper and chop it yourself. Beyond that, you can optimize the texture with your mixing technique. You can use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to smash the shredded cheese into the cream cheese. I prefer to mix by hand — and I don’t mean with a spoon. I like to squeeze all the components together between my fingers until well blended. The action of mashing barehanded is as satisfying as eating the resulting spread.
Poblano Pimento Cheese
10 minutes. Makes 1 ¾ cups.
- 1 whole roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped (½ cup)
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 fresh poblano pepper, peeled, seeded, and minced
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Use your hands to mix and mash everything together until very well blended.
3. Serve with crackers or sandwich in bread.