On a recent trip to Georgia and the Carolinas I discovered the region’s beloved Pimiento cheese appetizer. We enjoyed this on several stops and fell in love the flavors. Sharp cheddar married with a little heat and a little tang in a cracker friendly spread. Knowing how well dates and cheese pair of course we had to put a California spin on this Southern favorite by stuffing all that yumminess in a caramely sweet date. Not suprisingy, it is addicting and delicious! This is a fast and easy, party ready, crowd pleaser of an appetizer, perfect for everyday entertaining, tailgate parties, and more.
Makes: 24 stuffed dates
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Several grinds black pepper
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
- 2 ounces drained pimientos
- 2 (9-ounce) “Grinders” cups, or 24 dates, pitted
- 12 Ritz crackers, halved
Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, smoked paprika, mustard powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in the cheeses, followed by the pimientos. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Squeeze the ends of the dates to create room for filling. Fill each date with about 1 tablespoon pimiento cheese. Top each with a halved Ritz cracker.
Recipe and Photos: Grace Elkus @graceelkus