Little bit of cheesy southern love

Living in Louisiana and Alabama, I could always find a decent pimento cheese in any grocery store, big or small. When I made my way to Rhode Island, then all the way across the country to Seattle, it was just about impossible to find. Most people, I’m pretty sure, don’t really have the slightest idea what it is and why you’re asking for it. But, I love the stuff. I used to slather it, quite liberally, between two soft slices of white sandwich bread or just eat it out the container with Ritz crackers. The kind you bought was made with processed American cheese, neon orange and tangy. The stuff you make is much better–I don’t make it too often because it’s not exactly health food and I would eat it everyday, seriously. That would not be the wisest decision; but, every so often, it’s a tasty little treat to make and share. 

One little note, I don’t know many people who eat this and actually pronounce the ‘t’ in pimento. To sound like a native, just call it ‘pimmeno cheese.’

IMG_7414

Pimento Cheese
Makes about 2 cups–enough to share & to keep

3.5 C (253 g) Shredded extra sharp cheese (2.5 C Coarse shredded + 1 C Finely shredded)
1 Large red pepper, roasted, skinned, & deseeded, chopped
1/2 C (100 g) Mayonnaise (store bought–Blue Plate if you can find it–or homemade*)
1/4 tsp Salt, more to taste if needed
1/8 tsp Smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Details

  • Combine everything together & stir to mix.
  • Salt & pepper to taste if needed.
  • Store in the refrigerator, eat within 1 week.
  • Serve with Ritz crackers or toast, make a sandwich with it, top a burger, make a crazy mac n’ cheese, or just eat with a spoon!

*Notes: 

  • For little extra heat, add in a roasted serrano or jalapeño with the red peppers—de-seed or not, depending on preference.
  • Homemade mayonnaise is pretty easy with an immersion blender, a food processor, or a strong arm & a whisk.
    Mayonnaise
    1 large egg, Room temp
    1 Tbsp Lemon juice
    1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/2 C Vegetable oil
    -Combine the first 3 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or in medium bowl–a wide-mouth jar works great for an immersion blender.
    -Whisk or blend in the oil, add in a very slow steady stream until emulsified.
    -Salt & pepper to taste.
    -Store in the refrigerator, use within 1 week.

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