Monday, April 4, 2011

Foster’s Pimiento Cheese Spread

Katherine’s mother who lives in Roanoke, Virginia always has a deli tub of this spread awaiting us in the fridge. The one she buys at her favorite place is really good. This one is even better.

1 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Note: You can grate the cheeses in a food processor if you wish.
1½ cups (6 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated smoked or regular Gouda cheese
2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped, see instructions below
1 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, red is preferable but green is OK too, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon smoky sweet or regular paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix together the cheeses and the roasted peppers in a large bowl.
2. Combine the mayonnaise, jalapeno, vinegar, honey, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to blend well.
3. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the cheese mixture and mix well. Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use or up to 1 week.

There are lots of uses: on crackers, toasted bread, biscuits, English muffins, or chips; as a sandwich spread, a topping for baked potatoes, or an omelet filling. Great for breakfast, lunch, or a pre-dinner snack.

Makes about 4 cups
Adapted from Sara Foster’s The Foster’s Market Cookbook

How to roast red bell peppers and poblanos

1. Place the peppers on a shallow rimmed pan lined with aluminum foil. If you don't line it with foil, you'll have a nasty clean-up job afterwards. (See below)

2. Place the pan under the broiler on the second shelf down from the top of the oven. Keep turning the peppers until they are blackened on all sides. Remove from the oven.

3. Place them in a bowl and cover. Sometimes I skip this step and peel them while they are still hot, when the skin is still slightly puffed up away from the flesh.

4. When they are cool enough to handle, remove all the blackened skin.

5.  Pull the skinned pepper apart and remove the stem, seeds, and white membranes.  Refrain, if you can, from rinsing under water. I save the liquid the peppers release to use in any situation calling for stock.

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