Rodney Scott’s Pimento Cheese
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We love cheese, and we love dips. So there’s no question that we’ve fallen for this pimento cheese recipe, courtesy of James Beard award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott and his new cookbook, Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day.
“Pimento cheese is one of those foods that everyone associates with the South,” he writes. “The South isn’t the only place where people thought of putting pimiento peppers and cheese together. But the South is the only place where the dish became so legendary.”
The extra step of shredding the cheese might seem inconvenient, but as Scott explains, it’s worth the time and effort. Pre-shredded cheese contains added ingredients to prevent clumping, and “only freshly grated cheese will give you the creamy result you’re looking for.”
Serve this spicy appetizer with carrots, celery stalks, crackers or, as Scott suggests, pork rinds for dipping.
Reprinted with permission from Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie. Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott’s BBQ, LLC, a South Carolina limited liability company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (yellow is traditional, but white is fine)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 cup jarred diced pimientos, drained
3 tablespoons Rib Rub
1 teaspoon Colman’s mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 ounces pork skins (1 medium bag) or celery stalks, for serving
1. Using a box grater, shred the cheddar on the medium shredding holes into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the pimientos, rib rub, mustard powder and onion powder, mixing until blended. Fold in the grated cheddar, making sure it is evenly incorporated.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a dip with pork skins or celery stalks. Pimento cheese can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Note: Don’t use pre-shredded cheese. It’s coated with cornstarch to prevent it from clumping. Only freshly grated cheese will give you the creamy result you’re looking for.