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Damaris Phillips’ Pimento Cheese Spread

March 4, 2014 by Teresa Jacobson

pimento cheeseWhat could be more Southern than Pimento Cheese spread? Why, Damaris Phillips’ take on Southern Caviar, of course.  If you haven’t heard about Damaris Phillips, let me fill you in now. She was a competitor on season 9 of the Food Network Star show and won the hearts and taste buds of the judges with her take on Pimento Cheese (among other truly Southern dishes). She now stars on her own Food Network show:  Don’t miss the second season of  “Southern at Heart” which will air on Sunday, March 16th, 2014 at 10am!

4 ounces softened cream cheese
4 ounces diced pimentos
2 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Place cream cheese and mayonnaise into a large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add cheddar cheese. Mix till combined, then add pimentos (add them last so they don’t get too beat up). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note from Phillips: “Have a certain type of cheese you love? Feel free to substitute another type of cheese in for additional flavor. For example, substitute 2 ounces of blue cheese in for 2 ounces of the sharp white cheddar cheese. Feel like adding a little kick to your pimento cheese? Substitute another pepper or flavor in for the 2 ounces of pimentos. For example, I’ve tried Asian chili garlic sauce, kimchi, banana peppers, ghost peppers and horseradish sauce.”

Bacon, Tomato & Basil Dip

February 26, 2013 by Shannon Blackburn

Bacon & Tomato DipIngredients:
6 slices precooked bacon (about ½ cup crumbled)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Heat bacon in microwave according to package directions; crumble.

In the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attached, combine bacon, tomato, cream cheese, mayonnaise, basil, and pepper. Pulse until smooth, stopping the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Serve with toasted bread slices. For an elegant presentation, spoon rounded tablespoons onto the ends of endive leaves and arrange in a circle on a serving tray.

Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon & Garlic Dip

February 10, 2013 by Shannon Blackburn

Bacon & Blue Cheese DipIngredients:
7 slices Bacon, chopped
2 cloves  Garlic, minced
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
¼ cup Half-&-Half
4 oz. Blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
2 Tbl Chopped fresh chives
3 Tbl Chopped smoked almonds (1 oz.)

Cook bacon in a large skillet  over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 7 minutes.  Drain excess fat from skillet.  Add garlic and cook until bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add half-&-half and mix until  combined.  Stir in bacon mixture,     blue cheese, and chives.  Transfer to a 2 cup ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil.  Bake until thoroughly heated, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped almonds.  Serve with sliced apples, toasted pita chips, or French bread.

Make ahead:  Can be prepared 1 day in advance.  Refrigerate or freeze.  Bring to room temperature before baking.

Yield: 2 Cups