Piquillo-Smoked Pimento Cheese

Today it is time for a new take on something old school:  pimento cheese
Most of you probably have memories of pimento cheese from your childhood.  On crackers, celery, with chips or even as a sandwich, pimento cheese can seemingly go anywhere. 

Now we’re going to take it a bit upscale with a gourmet twist.  This recipe comes from chef Sarah Scott courtesy of the good folks at Silver Trident Winery.  Yes, you can pair this with wine.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I enjoy it with good quality pita chips.  I am guessing your taste buds will be pleased…

·         8 oz gouda cheese, grated
·         8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
·         1/3 cup mayonnaise
·         4 oz piquillo peppers, diced
·         1 ½ tsp garlic powder
·         1 ½ tsp onion powder
·         ¼ tsp smoked paprika
·         2 tbsp plus 2 tsp lemon juice
·         1 ½ tsp salt
·         ¼ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix on high, until well blended.
Notes:  Be sure to use smoked paprika and not regular.  Chef Scott recommends L’Amuse Gouda from Cowgirl Creamery.  Feel free to add a touch more paprika or lemon juice to your taste.  I also prefer using roasted piquillo peppers in this dish, as shown in the picture.