I never knew something that tastes so good could photograph so bad. I’m sorry. But I’m not sorry for what I made.This pimento less cheese that looks like pimento cheese but is really peppadew cheese, is might tasty. Is it the Hatch chiles that I bought fresh roasted over on Federal by the bushel? (Yes, they took a long time to peel and seed, but hopefully they will get us through the winter. I know a half bushel didn’t make it last year, so we upped our game.) Perhaps it’s the chilies. Perhaps it is the peppadews. Perhaps it is the garlic and the jalapeno cheese mixed with sharp Cheddar. I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that it is good.
I never had pimento cheese when I was young. I remember seeing it in a plastic container bought from the grocery and well, it just never looked that good. In fact, it didn’t look good to me at all, but I didn’t eat much cheese growing up. American was in our home and I never took to it, so cheese and I weren’t really friends for a long while. Then I married a guy from Texas and started hearing about pimento cheese, but I still stayed away.
Well, to make things short, which you know I’m not very good at, I decided to reach out and see what all the fuss was about. It began at Costco where they have their own version, that is quite good. But you always had to choose three tubs of any variety and I didn’t want to do that. Too much dangerous stuff to have around, so I decided to make my own and this is what happened.
Being the season of Hatch chilies I decided to use them. Well, they really use me, because they know I am devoted to them. After all, I seek them out every year, without fail and it just wouldn’t be Fall without my chilies. Many years ago we drove down to Taos or Santa Fe and got them there, but those good days are behind us. Now we only make it to Federal Blvd. It will have to do. At least we usually follow it up with a Vietnamese lunch, so I can’t complain.
But back to pimento less cheese. Other than making the cheese red, I couldn’t ever figure out the addition of pimentos. I could never really taste them, though they did make the cheese look pretty. So, I added peppadews. I’m very happy with that choice. They lend a spice and a sweetness that I really enjoy. Plus they are from South Africa and I love South Africa. And I miss South Africa, but don’t get me started…
So anyway… this pimento less, peppadew cheese with green chilies is good stuff. When this stuff is around it is easily plopped on a tortilla for a quick and awesome quesadilla. Or it is plopped on a burger to make a great cheese burger, to which I always add more green chilies. It is great mixed into eggs, or as is on a cracker, chips of any variety and don’t get me started on the thought of grilled cheese. With bacon. My mind is wandering. Which it has done a lot of lately…
Please accept my apologies on the photos, though really they are a whole lot better than when I started taking photos, and enjoy this cheese. With a beer. With a margarita. With bacon. The thought is killing me!
Pimento Less Cheese; Filled with Peppadews and #Hatch Chilies
Yield: About two cups
8 oz grated Cheddar
8 oz grated jalapeno jack
1 c chopped green chilies or 1-2 4 oz cans (to your liking) or Hatch chilies
1/4 c chopped minced onion
1/2 c chopped, drained peppadews
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
2 t Worcestershire
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (but if you want more spice leave some seeds in)
1/2 to 3/4 c mayonnaise
Throw it all in a bowl. Mix it up. Let it sit as long as you can to let the flavors meld together. Eat. You can start the diet tomorrow!