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Food

Poblano peppers in pimento cheese add a fresh kick

Poblano Pimento Cheese
Ritz crackers are the classic accompaniment to pimento cheese.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Poblano Pimento Cheese
Five supermarket ingredients go into the mix.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

2. Use your hands to mix and mash everything together until very well blended.

Poblano Pimento Cheese
Mixing by hand is very satisfying.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)
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3. Serve with crackers or sandwich in bread.

Poblano Pimento Cheese
The creamy spread is equally good on crunchy crackers or soft bread.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)


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