It’s football season, hallelujah! This year certainly feels different from other years – less festive, as no live crowds are permitted in the stadiums. The networks pipe in artificial crowd noise while you’re watching from home in an attempt to trick you into feeling like there’s a live crowd, and it only works half the time, until the cameras pan out and you see all those empty seats. Watching from home, which we would be doing anyway, still feels a bit less exciting this year. It doesn’t help that the Eagles are having an embarrassing season, with the exception of last week when won in a big upset over San Francisco. But that’s the Eagles – always the underdog, always the surprise wins.
Last weekend’s win has breathed some life into me, and I decided to actually plan a game day menu for this week when we will inevitably get beat by the Steelers. But who cares, we’ll be eating good. Starting with this Pimento Cheese Dip that will please the whole crowd, no matter who you’re rooting for.
The Dip Master
You guys know by now that the Big Guy nicknamed me The Dip Master and often amuses himself by singing in his best Shaggy impression, “You are the Dip Mastah. The original Dip Mastah..” Makes me want to throw things at him. But I’ll still keep the title. I love dips and I don’t care who knows it! Dips bring everyone to the table on game days. This Pimento Cheese Dip is a newer addition to the regular dip rotation and let me tell you, it is pretty darn tasty. Sharp cheddar gets kicked up with the addition of pepper jack cheese and a healthy helping of Spanish pimentos that give it that day-glo orange color. It makes for quite the addictive flavor profile.
So what’s a pimento anyway?
And how much heat does it add to a dip like this Pimento Cheese Dip? The answers are it’s a pepper and barely any. Pimento peppers, more authentically known as pimiento peppers are mild, sweet red peppers. If you’ve had Spanish olives – the green ones with the red in the middle – you’ve had a pimento pepper. They’re the little red guys stuck in the middle of the olives. They look quite similar to roasted red peppers when you buy them in a jar, only smaller. You can typically find them in the Spanish/Latin aisle of the supermarket. The combination of sharp cheese and pimento peppers is really delicious. In fact, I devoted an entire mac and cheese recipe to this flavor combo, and you can find it here.
This Pimento Cheese Dip couldn’t be easier to prepare. Just dump everything but the scallions into a food processor and let ‘er rip. This recipe yields enough to feed a crowd, so invite some friends to share! Spread it onto baguette slices or simple crackers, or even better – make your own butter crackers. They’re my favorite way to enjoy this dip.
Make it for game day! I hope your favorite team wins! (Go Eagles)
- 2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 8 oz. sliced pimento peppers
- 1/4 cup diced scallions
Combine all ingredients except for the scallions in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Fold in the diced scallions. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.