Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is nostalgic for me. My mom used to make it when I was little and I wasn't a huge fan, except when she'd make it into grilled sandwiches. As I've gotten older, I have developed a taste for it occasionally. I think it's another one of those food memory dishes. My mom had a grinder and I liked watching her grind up the cheddar cheese. I think her recipe was actually pretty simple: ground up cheddar, mayo and chopped pimentos. I have a recipe that calls for a few more ingredients which give the mixture more of a bite. One thing is for sure:  it doesn't resemble that "orange" colored pimento cheese spread that you find in the grocery store!

It is definitely a southern dish and there as many recipes for it as there are cooks. It's good as a spread on crackers, toasted baguette, stuffed into celery or grilled up in a sandwich.

  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) pimentos (with juice)
  • 1 pickled jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

Pulse the grated cheeses in a food processor until they're in small pieces. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add the pimentos, jalapenos and onion. Add half the mayo at first, then gradually add more until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

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