We’ve gone on and on about these dinner parties. And we want you to feel like you were there…our goal at the end of revealing all of our recipes is to give you a whole menu. Then you can grab your friends and start this amazing tradition with your own fabulous group of foodie friends. (No fabulous group of foodie friends? No problem, invite a few people over and be their foodie inspiration!) No need to tell them where you pulled your menu from! Our secret right? (OK, really we want you to feel free to send them right on over to our little corner of the internet-we’d be ever so grateful!) Where did we leave off last week? The brisket? After several different side dish musings, we settled on these Pimento Cheese Smashed Potatoes to pair with our Beer Braised Brisket-and boy are we glad we did.
We wanted a southern theme, and I have actually lived in the South. No joke, I lived in Houston, Texas for a full four years. Being a Minnesota native, it was a bit like living in a different country, but I can tell you that “different country” has killer FOOD! Biscuits and gravy, barbecue with all of the fixings, and Bourbon aplenty. But what is more southern than Pimento Cheese? I can guarantee I had never heard of this delicacy until moving south.
Turns out Pimento Cheese is just shredded cheese mixed with spices and pimentos. Not too difficult. (And it did not contain any processed cheese product which I had feared). In the south this is served as a dip, a spread for crackers, and used to top vegetables. We didn’t need anything of those things, but we did need a way to make our smashed potatoes a little more exciting. Enter Pimento Cheese Smashed Potatoes. And oh the flavor….
Also turns out this is a super easy side dish to make. We made our Pimento Cheese a tiny bit spicy by adding some jalapeno (recipe below) and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight so that it could develop the flavors. The next day we boiled some potatoes, smashed them all up and added the pimento cheese and a whole lot of butter (because…butter!). No, these aren’t vegan and they probably wouldn’t make the list of top 10 most healthy foods, but once you taste them, you won’t care! They were the perfect accompaniment to the Beer Braised Brisket, although I think they would also be amazing with fried chicken or barbecued pulled pork.
- 2 cups shredded cheddar (8 ounces)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 ounces pimentos, drained
- 2 jalapenos, finely diced (approximately ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 8 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 21/2 pounds russet potatoes, roughly peeled and chopped into large pieces
- To make the pimento cheese:
- Place shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mayo into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well combined.
- Add ancho chili powder, garlic powder and continue to mix.
- Mix in jalapeno and drained pimentos.
- Transfer mixture to glass container and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- To make the Pimento Cheese Smashed Potatoes:
- Take Pimento Cheese out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Place potatoes into pot of water with one teaspoon of salt.
- Bring water to a boil then turn down to a simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 25-30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Add potatoes to stand mixer along with 4 Tablespoons butter (use all 8 Tablespoons if you plan on serving immediately) and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix until desired consistency.
- Add pimento cheese and mix until well combined.
- If making ahead, place into a slow cooker on keep warm.
- Just before serving, melt additional 4 Tablespoons of butter on top of potatoes and mix before serving.