Midday Fix: Calabrian Pimento Cheese and details on the 18th Annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

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Data pix.
Sarah Grueneberg, Executive Chef of Monteverde

Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

1020 W. Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60607





The 18th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival takes place February 20 – 24, 2019.

EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. - All proceeds from the Festival help educate the future leaders of the hospitality industry by benefiting the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

To date, the Festival has raised more than $28 million for the School.

This five-day, star-studded gourmet gathering consists of more than 100 events spanning across three counties, from Coral Gables to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.

Sarah will be participating in this event --

    • Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach is an annual event hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company. More than 30 of the nation’s greatest chefs will serve up dishes originating from various regions of Italy.  Guests can peruse Piedmont, trot through Tuscany, savor Sardinia, canvas Campania, saunter through Sicily, and more - while sinking their toes into the sparkling white sands of South Beach. The signature event will take place on Thursday, February 21 from 7pm-10pm. General Admission tickets are $150 per person and are on sale NOW at sobewff.org


Calabrian Pimento Cheese

Sarah Grueneberg, Chef/Partner, Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

Yield: approximately 1.5 cups


1 medium red bell peppers or 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers (canned okay)

1 lemon - juice and zest (using a microplane)

2 tbsp Calabrian chiles, in oil - add little more based on your desired spiciness

1 cup mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s

8 ounces Manchego cheese, 3 to 6 months aged

8 oz Sharp White Cheddar, such as Hook’s, Cracker Barrel, or Tillamook

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
3 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

pinch salt, to taste


To Char the peppers, place the bell peppers over your gas burner grate or grill. Rotate until the skins are blackened and charred (you can also use the broiler in the oven- heat to high and char peppers directly under the broiler, rotate to have even char.) Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. Once the peppers have cooled, using a paper towel, remove the charred skin from the peppers.

Chop the peppers.  Place in a medium to large mixing bowl, add lemon juice and zest, Calabrian chile and mayonnaise. Stir until combined.

Then in a separate medium sized bowl grate Manchego and white cheddar cheese with the box grater, using the largest cutter.

Fold the cheeses into pepper mayo mixture. Add chopped green onion, dill, black pepper and salt. Stir together well.

If possible, let this chill at least 1 hour or overnight in your refrigerator before serving, you want the dip to be cold when serving and flavors to meld


  • Serve this with sturdy crackers, such Carr’s, La Panzanella or Potter’s Crackers; a grilled baguette or ciabatta; Cape Cod potato chips; carrots and/or celery.
  • Add a touch ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper for a kick of spice
  • Leftovers: this makes the most delicious grilled cheese ever or burger!


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