Matt's Pimento Cheese Dip. With a Kick.

By: Matt Armendariz

Ok, unless you are from the South (I’m from Texas, so I can only claim half Southern roots),  the mention of Pimento Cheese spread might be met with a look of disbelief or even smirks. Hey, isn’t this the cheese spread of yesteryear, when wood paneling was commonplace and our pants had just a bit too much fabric at the ankle? Perhaps. But to chalk this spread up to a southern thang and leave it at that would deny how truly perfect it is. Salty, sharp, cheesy but – here’s the best part – so completely and mindblowingly easy to make.

You need cheese, some pimentos and mayonnaise. Yes folks, that’s it.  Ok, well maybe not quite that fast. You want a really great cheddar cheese, but there’s certainly no need to break the bank with it. Any jar of pimentos will work, but I find adding a bit more (I eyeball it for color) gives it the pimento-ness it needs. And mayonnaise can be store bought but you’ll score special bonus points if you use homemade. But what makes this recipe just slightly different is the addition of sriracha, that unique chile and garlic sauce originating from Thailand. The sriracha adds some salt, some heat, and allows this pimento spread to hold its own with strong cocktails and other flavorful holiday nibblies. I’ll be serving this for both Christmas and New Year's Eve parties at my house, provided I don’t eat it all before my guests arrive.

Matt’s Sriracha Pimento Cheese Dip
1 lb cheddar cheese, mild to aged, grated
1 jar (4 oz) pimentos, drained
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until well mixed. If your dip isn’t quite spreadable feel free to add just a tiny bit of mayonnaise until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve with crackers, with celery, carrots, or on top of baked potatoes.

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