Saturday, May 26, 2012
I grew up on this stuff. There was never a family gathering, holiday, or celebration of any kind without the presence of Pimiento Cheese. It was there for picnics, showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, family reunions, and holidays. It may appear stuffed into celery, made into little tea sandwiches, served as a spread on toast points or crackers, on biscuits with ham for brunch.
As summer rolls in, I will be making this delicious spread on a regular basis. I love having it on hand for quick suppers when it becomes too hot to cook. Always delicious as a sandwich spread, it is equally delicious with fresh summer vegetables.
As with most simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients makes the dish. Choose an excellent quality cheddar cheese and grate by hand. Additions, such as olives, jalapeno peppers, chopped pecans, minced onions, and Worcestershire sauce are popular. I like to make a big basic batch, then add any additional ingredients to individual servings.
Pimiento Cheese is also a good way to use bits of cheese you have on hand from other recipes. I recently made a batch using the usual cheddar cheese, but I added in small bits of leftover blue cheese, swiss cheese, Parmesan, and pepper jack. It was delicious!
Basic Southern Pimiento Cheese
16 oz. hand grated cheddar cheese
4 oz. jar diced pimientos with juice
1/4 c. good quality mayonnaise (more for a "creamier" texture, if desired)
Freshly ground black pepper, or cayenne pepper, to taste