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Pimento Cheese for the Win!

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Pimento cheese

Pimento cheese served with crackers or veggies is a great addition to tailgating or any get-together.

In honor of tailgating and any other reason to put out a few snacks this weekend . . . pimento cheese.

When the girls were little, we’d have “orange parties” on nights when the Longhorns played. Everyone would wear orange, and we’d somehow eat a bunch of orange stuff (mac ‘n cheese, queso, cheese balls with the fake orange spray-powder – don’t judge). I can’t remember pimento cheese figuring into those nights, but I kind of think of this as the grown-up version of an orange party. While they may have scoffed a few years ago, everyone here has made the leap to loving a good swipe of pimento cheese on a cracker, a stick of celery or even a carrot. Cheese does make everything better.

And this spiffed-up version of cheese is pretty irresistible. If you’re not a fan yet, don’t turn up your nose. This isn’t a ’70s cheese ball (the thought of ham and cheese chopped up together and mushed into a ball sitting on my elementary school friend’s kitchen table still makes me gag). Just a simple mix that is a Southern staple with as many ways to make it as George Springer career homeruns. That said, I can’t claim that this recipe is better than your mom’s, but I also can’t say there’s a thing about it that I’d change. But that’s my taste – add a little more mayonnaise or some dill, or a little less cayenne if that’s how you roll. Just taste as you go and make it your own.

Even if you’re not a Longhorns or Tennessee or Auburn fan, it’s probably safe to say that if you’re anywhere in Texas right now, you’re cheering on the Astros (hoping we are still playing – I’m writing this on the eve of the fifth playoff game). And even if you’re still not into the orange, you’re going to like this because it’s just plain good. No matter what color constitutes your own win.

Winning Pimento Cheese


1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 4-ounce jar pimentos, drained well and diced
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese

Recipe directions: 

Mix mayonnaise and cream cheese until smooth, then add spices, jalapeño and pimentos. Fold the mixture into the cheeses. Refrigerate for an hour or so, and serve with pita chips, crackers and celery and carrot sticks.

See more Back Porch Table articles here. See One Giant Party: College-football tailgating for more on tailgating fun by Andria Frankfort. And check out this month's Cooking Buzz for more tailgating recipes. 

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