Friday, February 10, 2012

Basic Pimento Cheese

Some of you may have read the title of this blog post and dismissed this recipe before I even had the opportunity to share.

Shame on you.

Let me persuade you with this fact. For most of my life, I've thought pimento cheese was disgusting. Like, make-your-skin-crawl gross. Mostly because this was my experience:

It is the color of cheddar, but I have great doubt that there's any actual cheese involved. Maybe cottage cheese, which again, is make-your-skin-crawl gross. My dad used to eat this all the time, and maybe he still does. But I no longer live under his roof and have to be subjected to something so distasteful.

With this being my prior knowledge of pimento cheese, it is understandable why I never gave the stuff a chance until a few summers ago. One of my church friends started raving about the pimento cheese sandwich at Newk's. I turned my nose up. And then she explained, "It's not what you're thinking. It's more like an adult grilled cheese."

Grilled cheese is more my language, so I tried the Newk's pimento cheese sandwich and could have died and gone to heaven.

Oozy, slightly spicy, sharp cheddar cheese on a warm toasty baguette. Could such wonders truly exist? It has become a household favorite. Hot, cold, however it's served. Nothing is better than getting out of the pool in the summer with that swimmer's appetite (yes, I realize I mostly float) and smearing some of this stuff on a cracker.

That is a weird association to make, swimming and pimento cheese. Wouldn't a hot dog or hamburger make more sense? Well, what can I say, I'm fancy like that!

I recently found a pimento cheese recipe in Southern Living that sounded similar enough to Newk's that I was encouraged to try it out. And since when have Southern Living recipes disappointed?

It's perfect to make fancy adult grilled cheeses or to serve cold as a dip with some crackers. I made some modifications to this recipe, which you can see in parenthesis below.

Basic Pimento Cheese

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I would gradually add mayonnaise until it is the consistency you desire. I thought this was too much mayo)
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely grated onion (I took a shortcut and used onion powder)
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2 (8-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (I used one block of white cheddar and one block of yellow cheddar)

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in cheese. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.


Cynthia said...

Ahh, homemade pimento cheese! Sounds yummy! I have been wanting to make a homemade recipe for a few months now, so now I have one. Thanks for posting another great recipe. :-)

Kristen said...

Stephanie, I don't know if you already use Duke's mayo or not but it makes the ABSOLUTE BEST pimento cheese! You can get it at Brookshires!

Stephanie Jordan said...

Ohh, I've never even heard of Duke's mayo. I'll have to try it. Thanks for the tip!

LaneyHaney said...

Great looking recipe, but I always include the pimento juice, too, for more flavor. You're right, Duke's Mayonnaise rocks!

Melody Payne said...

This is delicious, even with a few changes based on the ingredients I already had!! I added only about 1/2 the mayo called for, plus added the pimento juice as well. I omitted Worcestershire sauce and onion because I didn't have them, but added hot sauce and black pepper. It was amazing, and the closest to Newk's I have ever tasted, which is wonderful because I used to live across the street from Newk's, but now live 2 hours from the closest Newk's! :) We eat this on firecrackers (jazzed up Saltines) and LOVE it!!