Monday, September 24, 2012

Spicy Savory Pimento Cheese

pimento cheese and crackers, garnished with celery leaves and a dash of cayenne

I will kick off this post with this: I used to HATE Pimento Cheese. Give me PB&J, Turkey and Swiss, but keep the "orange stuff" out of my sight. It was basically lunch punishment. However, with the revival in southern "gourmet" comfort food over the last several years (and a little maturity in the taste buds), I've experienced pimento cheese that is a long way away from those lunchbox nightmares. Now, I love the spice, the heat, the creamy texture. With anything, I think it starts with really good ingredients. I like mine to be spicy, and full of flavor. I also love that you can make it in one bowl, with just a few ingredients, and serve it so many different ways. Pimento Cheese isn't JUST for sandwiches, people! You can do a sandwich on some delicious sturdy bread (grilled or cold) - delicious. Top a baked potato, Serve with spiced pecans and crackers on its own. Use as a dip with crudites (I love celery with pimento cheese). Roll small teaspoons in chopped nuts for a perfect holiday canape. Here's how I make mine. Check the calorie counting at the door, because this isn't going to fit in your fitness plan. Read all about it after the jump!

Spicy Pimento Cheese ( appx 6 cups)
You will need: 
  • 4.5 cups Sharp Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup canned pimentos - small dice***pimento is a personal preference. I use about 1/2 cup, but add them to taste. 
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise (I prefer Duke's)
  • 4 oz Philadelphia cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 T dill pickle juice
  • 1 T sweet/bread and butter pickle juice
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1 garlic, grated fine (I use a microplane)
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 dashes Cholula 
  • 1/4 small white onion, grated fine (I use a microplane - should give you about 2 T onion)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
Did I mention I also love pimento cheese because it's so easy to make??? One bowl people! I use a stand mixer for this. Add the mayo, cream cheese, garlic, onion, celery salt, Cholula and Worcestershire in the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment. Cream together on low until the mixture is smooth and even. Add cheeses, mixing JUST enough to combine all ingredients. Add pickle juices and pimentos last. Taste. Add cayenne one half at a time. Taste for heat. Adjust seasoning adding more of anything you need as well as salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I like to remove from the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, because it lets the consistency loosen a little bit. Enjoy!


No comments:

Post a Comment