Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Favorite Foods #1: Pimento Cheese, a true southern delicacy

Pronounced 'minna cheese here in the south, pimento cheese is a cheese spread which is best enjoyed (in my opinion) between two slices of white bread, cut diagonally down the center. You won't find many households around here that don't have a container of pimento cheese sitting in their refrigerator. It is a very versatile, easy, cheap, and oh-so-delicious meal. Visit any southern church covered-dish potluck lunch and you will find plates full of quartered pimento cheese sandwiches.

Our granny makes her own pimento cheese. Once on a camping trip through New England, she wanted to make some pimento cheese sandwiches in the RV but couldn't find it in any grocery store. She decided she'd take matters into her own hands and make her own pimento cheese. From that point on, she decided she would stick to making it herself, using the basic ingredients: grated cheddar cheese, diced pimentos, mayonnaise, and salt/pepper to taste.

Besides eating it on your basic white-bread sandwiches, there are many other ways to enjoy pimento cheese:
-using it as a dip for bell peppers, celery, or crackers
-replacing it for sliced cheese and making a grilled pimento cheese sandwich
-topping a hamburger with a big glob of it
-even making Pimento Mac and Cheese (I haven't tried this yet but think it would be awesome!)
....pretty much anywhere you can use your basic cheese you can use pimento cheese.

Actually, for my lunch today I packed a pimento cheese sandwich. I slathered a little bit on some whole-wheat bread and topped it of with a hand full of baby actually pimento cheese can even be a part of a healthy, well balanced meal!

Someday, I'd like to come up with my own pimento cheese recipe and share it with the world, but for now, I'll stick to my grocery store staple: Ruth's Hot Pimento Cheese.



Anonymous said...

wow, I haven't had pimento cheese in such a long time!

Jamie said...

i'm liking this idea. it may even be more than once a week!!!

Big Bad John said...

'Nooga Pimento Cheese

1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce
1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4-oz. jar Mario® Diced Pimientos, undrained
1/2 lb. to 12 oz. sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
1/2 lb. medium cheddar, finely grated

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine first 7 ingredients and set aside or refrigerate. Using a 4-sided box grater, grate block cheeses into a large bowl. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the grated cheeses and thoroughly combine by gently folding ingredients. Important: Chill overnight to allow flavor to develop and the product to firm up. Before serving, freshen the appearance by refolding ingredients. Transfer to clean serving bowl and garnish with a dusting of paprika or cayenne pepper. Avoid squeeze-style mayonnaise (too thin) and pre-shredded cheese (too dry).