CLASSIC PIMIENTO CHEESE
- 2 cups finely shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise, divided
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon grated shallot or yellow onion
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
- but liquid reserved, roughly chopped
- Ground cayenne pepper
- English-style dry mustard
Combine half the Cheddar and half the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Mix together lightly. Knead in 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise until mixture is creamy and very smooth.
Work in remaining cheese, garlic, shallot, pimientos, 1 tablespoon of reserved pimiento liquid, a dash of cayenne and a small pinch of dry mustard. Knead just enough to mix well: it should still have plenty of texture. Add remaining mayonnaise, if necessary—just enough to make it spreadable.
Let stand 30 minutes. Serve cool or at room temperature. Makes about 2 1⁄2 cups.