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.