Dip into Tradition

A recipe for a good time

Kentucky is known for horses and bourbon, but we can also take credit for some fantastic foods: hot brown, Derby pie, benedictine and, of course, pimento cheese. These traditional favorites are delicious any time of year, but I believe spring is the perfect time to hone our skills and prepare for future summer fun.
Here’s my recipe for pimento cheese with a twist – no pimento. I like to use a more flavorful red Piquillo Chili Pepper found in jars at your local grocers. If you are unable to find it, just substitute a roasted, peeled and diced red bell pepper.

Pimento Cheese with a Twist
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
¼ cup red piquillo chili pepper, finely chopped (or roasted red bell pepper if you cannot find a jar of piquillo chili peppers)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ to 1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a bowl. Use only as much mayonnaise as you need to make it spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use less cayenne if you do not like it spicy or replace it with paprika.
This recipe can be used alone as a dip, in finger sandwiches, in a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich or as a mix-in for deviled eggs.
It is very versatile and a great tradition for a happy gathering – no matter what you are celebrating! V