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Pimento Cheese

This Southern staple is a quick appetizer especially suited for preparing in a RV kitchen. One bowl and a cheese grater later, your friends and family will be amazed at your culinary skills. This spread will only be as good as the cheese you use, so don't skimp.
1/2 cup best-quality mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
4-ounce jar diced pimentos (do not drain)
8 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
2-3 Tablespoons minced pickled (nacho slices) jalapenos (optional)
Place the mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir or whisk until well-blended. Stir-in the pimentos, then add the cheese. Mash the cheese well into the mayonnaise mixture with a fork until everything is well blended, yet a bit chunky. Add the jalapeno slices if desired. Place the pimento cheese into a pretty crock or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, allowing the flavors to develop, before serving with crackers, baguette slices, tortilla chips, celery sticks or even as a sandwich spread. Makes two cups. Keeps for one week, refrigerated.
NOTE: Though optional, I always add the cayenne pepper and at least 2 Tablespoons of chopped pickled jalapenos. Also, there is no added salt in this recipe, as the mayo and cheese are super salty already... not to mention tortilla chips. Add salt to taste, if desired.

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