August 9, 2012

Pimento cheese

photo from here
at some point last summer, i was seized with cravings for a classic Southern summer food- pimento cheese. i actually didn't even like pimento cheese all that much when i was little. i enjoyed a bite, maybe two, but that was it. but now that i'm older and my palette has matured, i suddenly wanted to give it another go... and i'm so glad i did.

i went searching online for a good recipe, and after calling my mom at 10pm to verify this was the closest thing to what i ate as a kid, i selected Paula Deen's version. i'm not linking to it because that woman uses unholy amounts of mayonnaise and i don't wish that on anyone. unfortunately, i initially trusted her and ended up having to double the other ingredients to prevent my pimento cheese from tasting like gross fatty fatness.

here's my "slightly less horrific for your arteries" recipe:

3 oz of cream cheese
8 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated
8 oz Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/4-1/2 cup of mayonnaise, or more/less depending on how much you like mayonnaise
three 2 oz jars of pimentos, sliced
1 teaspoon grated onion
black pepper, garlic salt to taste

1. combine the cheeses
2. add the cream cheese, pimentos, and onion, stir
3. add the mayonnaise- i do this last so i can decrease the amount if i don't need it- and mix everything together
4. add garlic salt and black pepper to taste.

my favorite way to eat it is on either on crackers, a hamburger, or a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. the sandwich can be tricky because it easily melts all over your pan. we devised an alternate plan- grill the sides of bread on their own, then put the sandwich together (feel free to add things like spinach or tomato), then put it in the pan just enough to get it warm and the tiniest bit gooey. perfect.

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