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Southern-Style Pimento Cheese spread … the quintessential southern food.
Actually pimento cheese is often referred to as the caviar of the south, but that’s another story. This simple spread reflects the laid back attitude you may find on a sweltering summer afternoon in the south, sitting on the front porch listening to the rhythmic hum of the cicada, drinking sweet tea. Parts of the south still move a little slower than the rest of the world, but I often believe that’s their way of keeping cool – because with all that humidity, it’s easy to break out into sweat!
As a young girl in Tennessee, I remember my mother used to make pimento cheese in the summer months, and mostly on the weekends. My dad loved a pimento cheese sandwich for lunch after mowing the lawn or coming home from a round of golf.
I can still see her shredding the cheese on a box grater, not measuring any of the ingredients, but making it perfectly every time.
Most pimento cheese recipes have the basic four ingredients: mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, diced pimentos and seasonings.
From there the options seem endless. I still like the basic recipe the best, with a little heat to give it that zing! This was a special request by my husband who also remembers his mother making homemade pimento cheese when he was a little boy. Food memories are so sweet! Check the seasonings and feel free to jazz it up a bit with minced jalapeño or your favorite hot sauce. There are other recipes for pimento cheese that also include mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and maybe onion powder. This is a basic recipe like my mother made but my husband did add a little extra sprinkle of cayenne. Be careful not to add too much salt if you’re serving it with crackers. If you want to tone down the extra-sharp cheddar cheese, use half Monterey Jack instead.
That about covers it ya’ll!
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Southern-Style Pimento Cheese
- 4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese lightly packed (about 12 ounces)
- 1 4-ounce jar diced pimento drained
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Tobasco
- dash of seasoned salt
- Fresh ground black pepperserve with crackers or vegetables
- Shred the cheese on a large box grater and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the drained pimento and set aside.
- Blend together the mayonnaise, cream cheese, cayenne, Tobasco, pepper and seasoned salt until smooth and creamy. I used a small food processor that came with my stick blender to blend these ingredients. Works great!
- Add the mayonnaise mixture to the cheese and blend with a spatula until combined.
- Chill until served.
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I can still bring out the southern girl accent if I have a glass or two of wine. I made a great effort to get rid of the accent after moving to Colorado in my early 20’s where I was teased mercilessly. I remember working for a man from Baltimore and he asked me what “fixin to” meant. Sheesh – I’m fixin to tell you something for sure. Hehehe.
Happy Friday my friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and have a lovely weekend!