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Recipe courtesy of Joe Truex

Pimento Cheese Toast with Ham Hocks

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 35 min (includes cooking smoked ham hocks)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 3 cups
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Ingredients

1 or 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)

3 tablespoons finely chopped roasted red bell pepper or pimento

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (10 ounces), at room temperature

3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt, if needed

Toasted baguette slices, for serving

Directions

  1. Place the smoked ham hocks in a pot with enough water to cover and simmer, covered, until the meat is falling off the bone, about 4 hours. Remove the ham hocks, cool for 15 minutes and shred the meat. You should have about 1/2 cup of shredded meat. Reserve the liquid for other uses.
  2. Mix the roasted pepper with the vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside to soak 30 minutes. Place the grated Cheddar in a large bowl and add the shredded ham, roasted pepper mixture, mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne and 5 or 6 turns of freshly ground black pepper, stirring until well-mixed and creamy. Taste the pimento cheese and season carefully with salt and more cayenne if needed. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pimento cheese tastes best when removed from the refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
  3. To serve: Spread the pimento cheese on baguette slices and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F. until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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