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Derby Day Appetizer Tray

Derby Day Appetizer Tray

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, entertaining, southern
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 382 kcal
Author: KellyLiken

This southern inspired appetizer tray is the perfect thing to kick off your Kentucky Derby party.  The pimento cheese and brined pecans are the stars, serve them along side your favorite fresh garden veggis and some chips or crackers.  And of course, a Dreby Day appetizer tray wouldn't be complete without a few slices of country ham



Pimento Cheese

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 1/2 C Mayonaise
  • 2 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 t Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 t 6 Chili Powder
  • 1/4 t Paprika
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Brined Pecans

  • 2.5 C Raw Pecan Halves
  • 2 C Warm Water
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 3 T Kosher Salt


Pimento Cheese

  1. Roast the Red Pepper over a gas burner on your stove, your grill outside or under the broiler in your oven.  Turn the pepper often and allow the skin to char completely.

  2. When the skin is completely caharred and blistered, put the pepper in a bowl or container and cover tightly with a lid or plasic wrap.  Allow the pepper to steam and cool for at least 10 minutes.  This will really help with ease of peeling the pepper.

  3. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, scrape away the charred skin and discard the stem and seeds.  finely chop the pepper to ready it for the pimento cheese.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, mayonaise and spices.  Cream them together with the paddle attachment until they are light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl often.

  5. Slowly fold in the cheddar cheese and the roasted red pepper.  Season to taste with salt and freshly groound black pepper.

Brined Pecans

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º.  Disolve the sugar in the warm water and soak the pecans in the solution for 10 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle half of the salt on a sheet tray, strain the pecans and place them in a single layer on top of the salt.  Sprinkle the remaining salt on top of the pecans.

  3. Roast in the oven until golden brown and delicious, about 5-7 minutes.

Recipe Notes

To create a Derby Day Appetizer Tray, serve the pimento cheese with an assortment of springtime vegetables, crackers, chips and whatever else you're loving at the moment.  A few slices of country ham is a great compliment as are pretzels and apples.  Be creative, use your imagination!

Nutrition Facts
Derby Day Appetizer Tray
Amount Per Serving
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 44mg15%
Sodium 1981mg86%
Potassium 150mg4%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 810IU16%
Vitamin C 12.9mg16%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.