As a southerner, loving pimento cheese should be a given. So it may be surprising that I have always hated the stuff. Well, that’s what I thought. Although I will claim pretty much any cheese as my favorite food, a jar of orange spread with red specks is not included. My distaste for pimento cheese is mostly textural, as I’m not a fan of mayonnaise or anything with that sort of slimy, slick consistency. Then I tried the locally famous homemade pimento cheese at DiPrato’s in my hometown and everything changed. The thick, creamy dip is amazingly delicious with a sharp, cheesy flavor. It’s always an indulgence when I’m home, so when a craving recently hit with over two months until I can visit the deli, I decided there was only one way to satisfy my taste. Yep, I tried to make it myself.
After a bit of research and some careful recollection, I combined a few recipes and came up with this spicy version of the southern favorite. I’m not sure I would confidently serve this up to Diane herself, but my lightened up take on the dip is definitely good enough to hold me over until my next visit to Columbia-and definitely worth trying, even if you’re from somewhere north of the Mason Dixon Line.
Spicy Pimento Cheese
- 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp pimentos, diced
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix mayonnaise and yogurt. Add pimentos, jalapeno, and garlic powder and stir until combined. Pour cheese into mixture and stir until all ingredients are well combined. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Enjoy with pita chips, crackers, celery, or pretty much anything else you can scoop it onto.