Vallery Lomas celebrates the spicy-sharp flavors of pimento cheese by cooking it into a frittata. First, cream cheese pieces are tucked into the freezer so that, by the time they’re added to the pan and the eggs are poured over top and baked, you’re left with a little silkiness in each bite.
The South likes to claim pimento cheese as its own, but its origins can actually be traced back to New York, the home of cream cheese, which makes up the spread’s foundation. Cheddar and mayonnaise were later additions. This frittata is a hodgepodge of creamy and spicy, celebrating the flavors and textures of pimento cheese. The fresh herbs add vibrancy, and the sharp cheddar can stand up to the spiciness of the various peppers. The chunks of cream cheese add velvety bits to each bite.
Pimento Cheese Frittata
• 2 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces
• 6 large eggs
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
• 1/2 medium bell pepper (preferably red), trimmed, seeded and diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 jalapeño, diced
• 1 (4-ounce) jar pimiento peppers, diced
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cream cheese pieces in the freezer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, red-pepper flakes and black pepper until combined.
Add the olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the pimiento peppers, reserving their liquid. Turn off the heat.
Add the reserved pimiento liquid (about 1/3 cup) to the eggs and whisk to combine.
Spread the cooked vegetables in an even layer in the skillet. Sprinkle the cheddar, chives and chilled cream cheese over the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture on top.
Bake until the eggs are set, 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature.
Total time: 35 minutes, serves 4.