Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pimiento cheese recipe

A friend requested my pimiento cheese recipe.  While I do actually have several pimiento cheese recipes, they're a little fussier and include things like cream cheese and one of the recipes needs to be cooked.  This is the way pimiento cheese is made here on a regular basis.  It's served as a sandwich filling, and is awesome with homemade breads, or with crackers as a snack or a light lunch.

It's not so much a recipe as instructions. And it varies wildly, I tell you.

~I use block cheese as the pre grated kind is drier and takes up the mayonnaise too well.
So, I use two 8 ounce blocks of cheese, of two different kinds...
most commonly, I use a medium cheddar and a colby jack.
Sometimes, I use a sharp cheddar and a mild cheddar,
or pepperjack and mozzarella...
you get the idea.

~Usually, instead of pimentos, I go over to the pickle aisle and get a jar of roasted red peppers. They're about 100 times cheaper (per ounce) and at least that much better.... they come in big jars so I can make pimiento cheese whenever I've a mind to. Keeps in the fridge and is wonderful in things like potato salad, especially in the winter, when there are no fresh peppers in the garden (and when I refuse to pay $2 for a red bell pepper!)

Sometimes in the summer, I use whatever pepper is in the garden... sweet peppers mostly, chopped fine.
We actually grow pimiento peppers for this purpose... but find we love them in so many other things as well.
Though I've intended to can some each year, I never do.  They'll keep weeks in the fridge and I do freeze some, finely chopped for use in the pimiento cheese too.

~Onion, grate a cut onion over the grater after you grate the cheese, about three passes... a good teaspoon full. You don't want to see or crunch down on onion, but you want the mildest of onion flavor in the background.

~You're gonna need some Texas Pete hot sauce. I sometimes use store brand hot sauce... you want the cheap, mildly spicy, very vinegary flavor... not the kind that sets fire to your inards.

~Mayonnaise - just use Dukes brand... ; ) Once, when I was on vacation, I couldn't find Dukes and used Hellman's. We did not die but I hyperventilated a little bit when I mixed it up.  Sometimes, I use half mayo and half plain Greek yogurt, if there's yogurt in the fridge.

***So, into a big bowl, put 1 pound of grated cheese, a good three tablespoons or more (to your taste) of chopped peppers, pimientos, or whatever floats your boat, a teaspoon of finely grated onion, a half to one teaspoon of hot sauce and a good half cup of mayo. Stir it up good, look at it and decide if it needs more mayo to be the right texture for spreading. You want to stir it good enough so as to break up the grated cheese a bit. If I enjoyed washing dishes, I might be tempted to put it into the mixer for a while, but I don't.
Some cheeses are dry and will soak up the mayo in the fridge, you'll need to add more when you use it next. I throw in a half teaspoon, at least, of coursely ground black pepper.

It's so good almost anyway you want to serve it. On bread for a sandwich, on a cracker, tossed into a bread bowl and baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Keeps well in the fridge.

I recently perfected a recipe that I'd been twiddling with for a while for a cornbread cracker (a knock off of the Keebler cornbread cracker that is now approaching $4 a box for something like 20 crackers) and they're so easy and so good that folks think you're a genius. I'll have to go look it up and type it up too... it's worth the little extra fuss. For a Sunday evening ball game treat, the cornbread crackers and the spiced up pimento cheese can't be beat!


  1. I would like to see that recipe!

  2. Carolyn, which one? The cooked one? It's a shared recipe from a little lady locally who lived to be about 98 and died last year... she swore by it. I've tried it once and was underwhelmed, compared to the not cooked, slap stuff in a bowl method... I'll look it up and send you a copy.