This is a classic case of adapting a recipe for the sake of satisfying my husband's taste buds and utilizing a classic recipe that has now turned into a staple in our refrigerator. I am a southern girl by transplant, New Jersey born, Atlanta raised. I identify with my southern side most of the time but my Jersey comes out sometimes when I least expect it. Ha!
One of the things I identify most with in the south is the cuisine. I love classic southern recipes! Give me a fried green tomato, banana puddin' and some pimiento cheese any day and I'm a happy girl. I like to keep things as easy as possible an most of the southern classics are that way.
Whenever my husband and I travel or get away to a new city, one of our favorite places to stop in is the local Irish pub. You can't lose! It's always a fun atmosphere and you can count on the food being classic as well. One of my husband's favorite things to order is pub cheese. Smooth, tangy from the beer or whiskey addition, and salty cheesiness either spread on a warm crusty pretzel or eaten with a simple saltine. We can't resist! The other thing you have to know about my husband is that he is a consummate snacker. (side note: he's also super tall and thin so it's ok that I call him out on his snacking, lol.) Darn those people with high metabolisms. Anyway, he always looks for "second dinner" most nights and a salty fix is his go-to. This recipe came about as a way to satisfy two of our cravings and always have a quick snack available in the fridge. It is the best of both worlds. It has the cheesy mayo base of southern semi-sweet pimiento cheese along with the spiced up goodness of pub cheese.
Start by mixing everything but the cheddar in a bowl with a mixer until whipped and well combined. This ensures that the majority of the ingredients are well combined before you add the shredded cheddar. I like the texture of the shreds to remain in tact.
Now, you are more than welcome to use pre-shredded cheese if that's all you have on hand, or if it's a convenience thing, but I wouldn't recommend it. They use all kinds of additives to ensure those shreds keep from clumping so, to me, it changes the taste and texture. I take the extra step of shredding it on my own.
Last step is to add in the cheddar and mix just until combined. Or, if you like your cheese pulverized, than by all means, go for it. I love mine spread on a slice of cold cucumber.
It's definitely one you'll want to add to your arsenal for all parties and potlucks. Endless compliments coming your way with folks wanting to know your secret. It's great on a sandwich, with crackers, tortilla chips, or as a dipper for crudités. Whether it's formal or just fun, there is always a place for this dip.
Click here for the printable recipe card.