PIMENTO POTATO CHEEZ

I never liked pimento cheese. This is a food item from decades ago, and it never appealed to my tastebuds. However, this recipe hits a home run with me! You can make it as spicy or tangy as you like by playing with the amount of white and cayenne pepper, and the miso paste which gives this lovely spreadable cheez a tangy umami quality.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5-8 minutes

Set time in fridge: 2-24 hours

Makes one small loaf or 2 full cups

Ingredients

  • 4 small potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cup soaked cashews
  • 4-5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbls. white miso paste
  • A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. kala namak (optional)
  • A pinch of white and/or cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tsp. tapioca starch
  • 3 tsp. agar flakes
  • 2-3 Tbls. pimentos (or roasted red peppers, sliced into small pcs.)

Instructions

  1. Peel carrots and potatoes, then chop into small pieces.
  2. Cook them in a small amount of water until soft, then put them into your blender. Reserve your cooking water.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to blender except the agar flakes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water to the blender and mix until smooth. Add small amounts of water as necessary to achieve a thick and smooth consistency.
  5. In the same saucepan as you cooked the carrots and potatoes, boil 1/2 cup of water, add the agar and stir until it’s dissolved.
  6. Add your blender mixture to the pan and simmer over low heat. Taste and add more of what you think is needed. Use a whisk to stir occasionally. It should start to thicken up after about 5 minutes. If not, add small amounts of tapioca starch and keep whisking.
  7. Line your cheese dish with parchment paper ‘handles’, pour the cheese into the container, and store it in the fridge.
  8. Let the cheese set for at least 2 hours (overnight is best) before you serve it.

Recipe Notes: As is, the recipe will set up in a small loaf pan, but cheez still remains creamy. If you just want a creamy spread, omit the agar and set the mixture in a bowl. If you want a denser loaf, use an additional Tbls. of each agar and tapioca starch while cooking. You may also leave out the cashews if you are averse to nuts.

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