September 16, 2013

Hatch Green Chile Pimento Cheese

8 oz shredded aged sharp cheddar
4 oz jarred diced pimentos, drained
1/4 cup diced fire-roasted Hatch Green Chiles
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon ground garlic
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to overnight for best flavor.

My thoughts:
Last January as part of our annual decade-theme meal(s) we celebrated the 1920s with a "ladies who lunch" lunch featuring chicken salad with tarragon and slivered almonds, a zippy tomato aspic, classic creamy pimento cheese and deviled eggs along with celery sticks, carrot sticks and a relish tray. It was so much fun making a meal of all these little bites! When I was thinking about what to do with the Hatch chiles I didn't freeze, I thought making a green & red pimento cheese would be fun. Then I took it a step further and decided to make a whole meal out of it. Think of it as "ladies who the Southwest". Normally Hatch chiles seem to be tossed mostly in spicy Southwest or Tex-Mex dishes like enchiladas, burritos, tacos, chili and stew (and I admit, I like them in that form as well) but I thought it would be fun to explore them in a slightly unexpected way and pop them into dishes that aren't known for their heat. Look for a couple of more recipes from this lunch in the next few days.