9/09/13

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese

A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!

I must have been hungry when I went shopping for groceries this week. I spent about $150 more than I usually do AND I decided I needed to buy two pounds of cheddar cheese.

Two POUNDS of cheddar cheese. And enough canned beans to get through a nuclear winter. I don’t know why.

I got home and looked at that mammoth-sized block of cheese and thought well, now what are you going to do with that?

So, I did what any good Southerner would do. I made my Baked Macaroni & Cheese and about a quart of Pimento Cheese.

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese! A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!

If you’re not familiar with pimento cheese (sometimes called pimento cheese spread), it’s a creamy sandwich spread made with cheddar cheese, diced pimentos (roasted red peppers), mayo and a little seasoning. Sometimes you see it with diced jalapeños too.

Some more modern pimento cheese recipes are made with cream cheese (to make it creamier), but I’ve found that so long as you shred your own cheese and don’t use the pre-shredded stuff that’s coated with cellulose and other additives to keep it from sticking together, your pimento cheese will be plenty creamy. 

Your granny didn’t make her pimento cheese with cream cheese 50 years ago. And she didn’t use pre-shredded cheese. If she was like mine, she was using that big block of gubment cheese. Trust me, you don’t need cream cheese for creamy pimento cheese. 

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese! A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!

The most common way to enjoy pimento cheese is to make sandwiches with it. On white bread. The kind that’s so fresh and soft it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Or you can treat it like an appetizer spread and have it on crackers or celery sticks.

But if you’re really lucky, you’ll have some around when you’re grilling burgers because a pimento cheese cheeseburger is just about one of my favorite things on the planet to eat. The cheese gets all melty and ooey and creamy and gooey and it’s… well… it’s just amazing.

If you’re ever in Columbia, South Carolina, stop by Rockaways on Rosewood Drive for the absolute best pimento cheese burger in the whole wide world. Get that sucker all the way, get a pile of napkins, then enjoy what ought to be considered a rite of passage in the South. 

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese! A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!

WHAT TO DO WITH PIMENTO CHEESE

  • Use as a sandwich spread (obviously)
  • Serve with crackers or celery sticks (still pretty obvious)
  • Make Charleston Cheese Dip 
  • Serve with strawberry jam or red pepper jelly on crackers (seriously SO delicious)
  • Mix in chopped pecans then serve with crackers
  • Top hamburgers for a Pimento Cheeseburger
  • Use as a filling for jalapeno poppers
  • Make sliders with King's Hawaiian Rolls
  • Use in Tomato Pie instead of cheese and mayo

Oh, I should point out that I have no idea what the proper spelling is. Pimiento and pimento are both acceptable but it could be spelled puhmennah because that’s how everybody says it!

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese! A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!

A FEW NOTES ABOUT MAKING THIS PIMENTO CHEESE RECIPE

  • I usually use medium cheddar but if you prefer sharp, go for it! 
  • Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese to make pimento cheese. Just trust me on this.
  • I add a little grated onion to my pimento cheese and I love it! I think it's what *makes* it but you can certainly leave it out if you'd like!
  • It will seem like you don’t have enough mayo at first but keep stirring until everything is very well combined and it will come together fine. Definitely add more if desired but don’t add it until everything is mixed well.
  • For a creamier texture, let pimento cheese come to room temperature then mix with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy.
  • Add diced jalapeños if desired.

Old-Fashioned Pimento Cheese! A simple recipe for classic Southern pimento cheese spread made with cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little seasoning (and no cream cheese), perfect for sandwiches, burgers, crackers and The Masters!
Keep up with my latest shenanigans by following South Your Mouth!


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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimentos
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Shred cheese then add to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drain pimentos very well then dice into small pieces then add to cheese.
  3. If using onion, press out any excess liquid (I just squeeze it in the palm of my hand) then add to bowl with cheese.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, salt, cayenne pepper, onion powder and garlic then mix well. Add mayo mixture to cheese then stir until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Taste for seasoning then add more if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to two weeks.


18 comments:

  1. This is how I make it minus the salt. I try to use extra sharp cheddar and I mix by hand. Man, now I want a grilled pimento cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup.
    Norma in NC

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  2. Try fresh chopped jalapeno instead of cayenne and see how you like that

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  3. Sounds good , gonna try it , the recipe is a lil different(easier) than the one I usually make . I usually use a 2 lb loaf of Velveeta frozen then shredded and add a lil Cheddar then pimento and mayo , and of course some pickled jalapeño

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  4. A really off the wall twist: Add 1 can rotell tomatoes drained. Delete the cayenne if you do this. Makes a great dip. Lyn in NC

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  5. if this is anything similar to DiPrato's 'minner cheese, i'm all over it!

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  6. I gave your recipe to my hubby as he is learning to cook and experimenting with Pimento Cheese.
    I have signed up for emails. Sheila from Mykentuckyliv .com

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  7. Or, we eat it on tortilla chips which is what I've been doing lately for some crazy reason. Hey... at least they were multigrain chips LOL! I agree with you on shredding your own too - just makes a difference. Nice recipe Mandy!

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    Replies
    1. Great using corn chips to dip too! Yum!

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  8. True pimiento cheese has only cheese, pimientos, mayo and a little sugar(teaspoon or so) and hot sauce. Balance the sweetness with the hot sauce(I prefer Texas Pete).

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    Replies
    1. Heifer. Stop.2/4/16, 3:50 PM

      Are you even serious?

      Delete
  9. I have made this before and sometimes add a tiny bid of horseradish. Love it on burgers!

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  10. I make mine with white and sharp cheddar, some tabasco and like the poster above, add a tiny bit of horseradish. The most delish burger I ever put into my mouth was in a little country restaurant in Virginia several years back. It was a pimento cheese burger with fried onions on top and I have been a junkie for them ever since.

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  11. I make mine with white and sharp cheddar, some tabasco and like the poster above, add a tiny bit of horseradish. The most delish burger I ever put into my mouth was in a little country restaurant in Virginia several years back. It was a pimento cheese burger with fried onions on top and I have been a junkie for them ever since.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My go to recipe for pimento cheese! Soo good! I add a little sugar and sweet chow chow relish to mine.... Love all your recipes!!

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  13. Sounds a lot like my mom’s, but we add grated kosher dill pickle instead of onion and season with pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper, maybe a little bit of salt. Add a bit of the pickle juice to cut the amount of Mayo. Love pimento cheese!

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  14. Just made it, and had to have a sandwich immediately! It's really good! Since I mostly eat as a sandwich or grilled sandwich, next time I will half the amt of cayenne and add a touch of pickle juice as recommended above. As is, it's a great recipe for dip with crackers!

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  15. Am a bit confused, recipe says Mayonnaise, is that considered salad dressing or Real Mayo?

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    Replies
    1. Mayonnaise. Just... plain mayo. My ancestors would claw their way from the grave and haunt me if I used Miracle Whip in pimento cheese.

      Delete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy