Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Make It! Jalapeno-Pimiento Cheese Part I

Where has this been all my life. I have asked people...several people in fact and everyone seems to know about this. I thought it was a Southern thing, but even people back home in Chicago have heard of it!  Alas, I have found the most perfect food......PIMIENTO CHEESE!  
Homemade low calorie pimento cheese
Now there are many, many different kinds of pimiento cheese.  Some creamy, some chunky, some hot, some not.  The basic recipe is the same, but not all pimiento cheese stands the test. (for me at least)
Oh how we love some heat...look at these beauties

Pimentos and Greek Yorgurt are used in homemade pimento cheese
I prefer mine a bit on the chunkier side with a lot of heat! I found some brands I liked and some I couldn't stand.  Then I made the horrible mistake of looking up what it ACTUALLY was. Don't do it!! Enjoy the calorie ridden heavenliness without the guilt, because it is a whole lotta cheese and a whole lotta mayonnaise!! (Gasp) Ok, so I probably knew, but once you see it written down then it's like real!
Use two kinds of cheeses in homemade pimento cheese
DIY pimento cheese
So how could I consume my favorite "comfort" food with less fat? I found a ridiculously easy, ridiculously heavenly and lower calorie version. Enjoy my friends!

Jalapeño-Pimiento Cheese 

Adpated from Southern Living 

Stir together 1¼ cups fat-free Greek yogurt (Chobani preferred)  
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimientos drained
 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro (Key ingredient, don't skimp)
 3 Tbsp. chopped jarred pickled jalapeño peppers (comes in a couple heat strengths.  I went with mild, but hot probably would have been better)
 3 Tbsp. liquid from pickled jalapeño peppers
 Stir in  8-oz. of reduced-fat extra-sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese  
Add 4. oz of Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
 Makes: A LOT
You probably have noticed that the title reads Part I.  Tomorrow I will give you a recipe for a great vessel for your Jalapeño-Pimiento Cheese.  Until then grab a tortilla chip and tear into this heavenly dip!

Love and Tulips,
Nicole from Alpharetta