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Chef Beckett’s Pimento Cheese Recipe…

April 10, 2015

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Chef Justin Beckett sampled his Southern-inspired bruschetta with Pimento cheese yesterday at the Uptown market and received rave reviews.  In fact, he was all sampled out by the time I got there, but judging from the many compliments about it that I heard, I will need to make this so I can try it for myself.  Here is the recipe…

Pimento Cheese  (makes 1 1/2 quarts)

Chef Justin Beckett wishes he had found pimento cheese earlier in life. This recipe is fantastic as a spread or dip. Serve pimento cheese with chips, crackers, toast points, or even as little tea sandwiches. Pimento cheese can be made days in advance and kept in your fridge. Chef Beckett often makes a big batch and places it into mason jars as a gift for neighbors and friends, as you can imagine he is a pretty popular guy after that.

1 pound cream cheese
¾ cups mayonnaise
4 cups shredded yellow cheese
3 jalapeños
5 large red bell peppers
2 bunches of green onions
3 Tablespoons powdered garlic
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cajun spice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons Crystal’s Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions:

Roast or grill the red peppers until they are charred on all sides but not burnt.  Place them in an airtight container to “sweat” and cool so they become easier to peel.  Peel and de-seed the peppers (you can purchase pre-roasted bell peppers at your favorite grocery).  Medium dice the peppers and place them in a strainer to let the excess juice drain off.

(Note:  Adding in too much bell pepper juice will cause the cheese to turn a funky pink color.)

Small dice the jalapeños (remove the seed and stem) and set aside.  Whip the cream cheese in a kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment till smooth.  Add in the mayonnaise and mix until combined, make sure to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the garlic powder, green onion, vinegar, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and salt. Mix again to fully incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the shredded cheese, bell peppers, and jalapeños. Mix by hand just until combined.  Do not over mix!

Store in airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Tip: Removing the vein and the seeds from the jalapeño will reduce the spice level significantly. Chef Justin Beckett always wear gloves when working with jalapeños and washes the cutting board very well with hot soapy water when done.

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As well, I talked with Chef Beckett and heard that there are still seats available for the Chef Dan Barber book signing for his new book The Third Plate and Southern Rail dinner on Tuesday, April 14th, but it is starting to fill up.  The dinner will be a three-course Arizona-focused menu with the meet and greet and book signing to follow at Changing Hands.  For more information on the event, you can visit my prior post about it here, and to make reservations, please visit Chef Barber’s website at www.danbarber.bpt.me.

Chef Dan Barber Book Signing for The Third Plate and Southern Rail Dinner
300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013

Tuesday, April 14th
6:00pm – Arizona-inspired three course dinner at Southern Rail
8:00pm – Meet & Greet and book talk with Dan Barber at Changing Hands Bookstore

$79 + tax/person, Arizona wine pairings are extra

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