I have a serious love for both pimento cheese and queso (what Texan girl doesn't?), so when I saw the recipe for pimento cheese fondue from Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors From the Blue Ridge Mountains ($21, originally $30), I knew I had to combine my two great loves into one outrageously cheesy dip.
For starters, the pimento cheese is a little out of the ordinary. Rather than jarred pimento, the recipe calls for freshly roasted bell pepper to add the bit of peppery flavor in addition to pepper vinegar. However, my California grocers don't carry pickled peppers, so I subbed in some spicy pickle juice, and it did the trick. Dashes of wine and heavy cream melt the pimento cheese down to a velvety consistency. Go ahead and dip celery, bell pepper wedges, and big slices of sourdough bread into the gooey fondue. Scraping the bowl clean is required, but if you can't do so in one sitting, the dip reheats well in a microwave.
This version of pimento cheese features sharp white cheddar as the superstar. The sharper the better, so look for aged Vermont white cheddar, which melds beautifully with the mellowness of roasted red peppers.
The Swiss may have originally come up with the idea of chunks of bread dipped in melted cheese, but we’ve brought some Southern influence with our pimento cheese fondue. This makes a fun, entertaining, and brag-worthy party hors d’oeuvre or, if paired with a simple salad, a comforting and casual supper by the fireplace.
1/2 pound extrasharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper vinegar (I used spicy pickle juice)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, roasted and minced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons white wine
Sourdough bread and raw veggies, for serving
- To make the pimento cheese: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the shredded cheese with the mayonnaise, whole-grain mustard, dry mustard, pepper vinegar, salt, pepper, parsley, and roasted red bell peppers. Blend well.
- To make the fondue: In a sauté pan or small saucepan, combine the pimento cheese, cream, and wine, and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer and the cheese melts, stirring frequently. Simmer for 1 minute, or until hot and bubbly.
- Serve with any accoutrements such as sliced sourdough bread, celery sticks, and sliced bell pepper, for dipping.
- Dips, Appetizers
- North American
- Makes about 2 cups (serves 3-4)
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes