Ahhh, pimento cheese ... one of those quintessential Southern treats. Seriously, if you're not from or familiar with The South, let me just tell ya ~ pimento cheese (usually pronounced pi-men-u) is a Southern institution. Like barbecue. Sweet tea. Cheerwine (which is a soda, by the way ... not a wine!). Hushpuppies. Peach cobbler. Biscuits. And so many other wonderful Southern specialties.
It's tough to go to pretty much any type of Southern gathering ... be they pot-lucks, church gatherings, bridal showers, or picnics ... without finding pimento cheese in some way, shape, or form.
Most typically, we find the classic pimento cheese sandwich. Which is simply pimento cheese between two slices of bread. Nothing fancy ... but sooooooo good. But take the crusts off the bread and cut the sandwich into shapes, and now you've got fancy! ... perfect and classic for tea sandwiches. Or serve it with crackers. Or in grilled cheese ... yum! ... with bacon ... even better. Or on top of a burger. Yup, these are just some of the ways we enjoy our pimento cheese.
When my brother's mother-in-law ... a true Southern lady ... asked me if I like pimento cheese, I had to admit that I had no earthly idea what she was talking about. So ... I asked her to explain.
She proceeded to explain that it was grated cheese mixed with mayonnaise, diced pimento, and seasonings. Translation ... take some fat, mix it with more fat, add some pimento and seasonings. Yup, you gotta love the South. But hey - that fat with more fat is sure delicious!
One key point to making this classic treat ... please, oh please, us Southerners (even the transplanted ones) beg you ... grate your own cheese! Please don't dishonor a Southern institution with store-bought pre-shredded cheese ... it's got a coating on it that will all-kinds-of-mess-up the proper pimento cheese texture.
|'Proper' home-grated cheese|
So, if pimento cheese is new to you, are you curious??
If it's an ol'-standby for you, what's your favorite way to enjoy it? I'd love to hear! Mine's straight up on a cracker!
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Source: My Mom, as adapted from Southern Living magazine
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese*
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese*
3 T. finely chopped pimento
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
1. Mix all ingredients together. Add a touch more mayonnaise if it seems too stiff.
2. Refrigerate over night to let the flavors blend together.
*NOTE: It's important to grate your own cheese from blocks for this. I don't recommend using store-bought pre-shredded cheese as it won't produce the 'proper' pimento cheese texture.
This post is linked with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday with Diane Balch, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sunday Showcase Party, On the Menu Monday, Mangia Mondays, Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round-Up.