The operative word for this recipe from Sean Mendes of Roadside Seafood is fresh: Shortcuts such as preshredded cheese and frozen shrimp will undermine the flavor of this thoroughly Southern dip.
Southern Comfort Pimento Cheese Dip
1 pound fresh local shrimp
1 tablespoon butter
6 slices bacon
6 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow onion, grated
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 ounces whole peeled pimentos, drained and chopped
Peel and devein shrimp. Saute in butter for 2-3 minutes; remove from pan. After the shrimp is cool, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Cook bacon to desired doneness. Drain on a paper towel. After the bacon is cool, rough chop it and set aside. Beat next five ingredients (cheddar through cayenne pepper) in a heavy-duty mixer at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the pimentos and beat for another 1-2 minutes. Fold in bacon and shrimp. Serve dip with Captain's Wafers.