I have an obsession with both Mexican food and Southern food. My weekly menu could easily be Mexican and Southern food 7 days a week. But more specifically, I love it when a traditional dish is given a Mexican or southern spin. So imagine my delight when I came across this recipe for Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese. It's a traditionally southern dish, that's given a Southwest makeover - genius!
Actually I should amend my above statement to say that I really have a major obsession with pimiento cheese. Love love love it! On a sandwich, mixed with bacon, spread on some crackers, spread on a fried green tomato, on a burger, deep-fried, you name it. And this dip is no exception. Instead of exclusively using cheddar, it uses a mixture of cheddar and Pepperjack. Extra herbs and spices play up the Tex-Mex flavor, and tortilla chips are the vessel of choice for shoveling it into your mouth.
We had some friends over for dinner last week, and since it was Cinco de Mayo week, I wanted to do something Mexican-inspired. I decided to go with a Mexican-Southern fusion menu, and this dip was a perfect way to start the meal. We pretty much demolished half a dish of this in no time flat. This is also incredibly low-maintenance and can be prepped ahead of time, which makes it an ideal dish for entertaining or bringing to a potluck.
Baked Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese
inspired by Southern Living, January 2011
- 1/2cup mayonnaise
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature (reduced fat is fine)
- 3/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped finely
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
- 8 oz Pepperjack cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup minced scallion (2-3 scallions)
- 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- tortilla chips, for serving
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dip, reserving 1 tablespoon of each cheese for topping. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Adjust seasonings if necessary, and spoon mixture into the baking dish.
Top with the reserved cheese and bake 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Garnish with additional cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.