Monday, August 14, 2017

Kicked Up Pimento Cheese

As a Northerner who has been visiting the South with some frequency, I have been introduced to pimento cheese. 

Also known as Southern caviar, pimento cheese is available at every Southern grocery store deli counter I have frequented.  Of course, I had to sample some...over and over again!

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Spread

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
Pimento Cheese
If you are unfamiliar with pimento cheese, you might be surprised to know that it is a simple mixture of shredded cheese, usually cheddar, mixed together with diced pimentos and mayonnaise.

This simple mixture is a staple across the South, but recipes differ from one family to another.  I've been told that one major debate from person to person is which mayonnaise to use. Hellman's, Dukes, or Blue Plate, your ears will be on fire listening to the virtues of the favorite mayonnaise versus the shortcomings of all the others.

You won't find me engaging in the mayonnaise debate here. Use your favorite mayonnaise and make this recipe your own.
Kicked Up Pimento Cheese with Jalapeno Pepper

Do an Internet search and you'll get a feel for just how varied pimento cheese recipes are.  Some add cream cheese and others add onion.  My recipe includes jalapeno pepper for a little heat and color but otherwise sticks with the basic cheddar cheese, pimento, and mayonnaise ingredients.

If you'd like your pimento cheese to be a little hotter just add a bit of your favorite hot sauce.  If you want a more traditional pimento cheese, just leave the jalapeno pepper out of your mix.

Pimento cheese makes a perfect spread to keep on hand in your refrigerator. Melt some between two slices of your favorite bread for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  Friends drop in unexpectedly?  Top some crackers with a little pimento cheese for a tasty snack.

Kicked Up Pimento Cheese

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Ingredients
Pimento Cheese Ingredients
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined, minced
  • 4 ounces chopped pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, your favorite

Mix the cheese, jalapeno, and pimentos together in a medium bowl with a spoon until the ingredients are well distributed.

Add the mayonnaise, mixing well.

Serve with your favorite crackers or as a sandwich spread.


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