Austin360Cooks: Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers from @stetted
So many great late summer dishes popped up in our #Austin360Cooks gallery this week.
We saw mango fish tostadas, shrimp linguini alfredo, green chile zucchini quesadillas, fried eggs with duck rillettes and brisket and a tomato basil and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, and beer- and whiskey-infused chocolate cupcakes.
But I really loved these pimiento cheese jalapeño poppers from Megan Myers, a local food blogger and freelance recipe developer who runs the website stetted.com.
(Full disclosure: Myers and I are on the board of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance together. As vice president, she’s in charge of our Byte of Texas conference taking place Sept. 27 and 28. You can find out more at austinfoodbloggers.org.)
Rather than relying on gloppy store-bought pimiento cheese, Myers makes her own, but it’s a quick, party-friendly dip that you could make on its own or serve alongside these poppers for guests who don’t like jalapeños or don’t eat meat.
As the name of her website suggests (“stet” is an editing term that means “to let stand”), Myers has a keen eye for words, which made for an interesting discussion about whether this creamy Southern cheese dip should be called “pimento” or “pimiento” cheese. The red peppers often found stuffed inside olives are, indisputably, pimiento peppers, which is how they are labeled on jars when you buy them in stores. But “pimento cheese” is by far the most common way to spell the beloved (or loathed, depending on where you grew up) dip.
For the purposes of this recipe, we’ll go with Myers’ preferred spelling, but rather than split hairs over the spelling, I’d love to hear how else you like to use pimiento cheese. In grilled cheese sandwiches or on hamburgers? Macaroni and cheese? Let me know in the comments or over on the Facebook page.
Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 oz. diced pimientos
1 tsp. grated shallot
7 to 8 oz. cheddar (or a mix of cheeses), shredded
Pinch cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. salt
8 strips bacon
Stir together mayonnaise, pimientos, shallot, cayenne and salt. Fold in cheese. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees or prep grill.
Halve jalapeños lengthwise and remove seeds. Fill each cavity with pimiento cheese. Slice bacon into halves or thirds (depending on size of slices) and wrap around each jalapeño, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
Bake for 20 minutes, or grill 10-15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
— From Austin food blogger Megan Myers, Stetted.com