Perky Pimento Cheese
Never underestimate the power of a good pimento cheese recipe. Bold and creamy pimento cheese spread is a right-of-passage here in the south. A feather in your cap. A jewel in your crown.
Southern cooks are serious cooks.
Don’t be misled by the warm hospitable smile or charming southern draw; cooking is business down here.
If someone states they’ve got a great recipe for strawberry pie, you can bet it’s been passed down in the family for generations, and has won a few blue ribbons at the county fair. I’ve never lived in a place where so many people are avid cooks with years of home training from momma, granny, and great-gran-nanny as well.
Striking Wooden Tray from Villeroy & Boch.
Certain dishes must be conquered with skill and finesse in order to call yourself a southern cook.
Hidden under a frilly toile apron, the southern cook has an arsenal of dishes that will make your head spin. Shrimp and grits, squash casserole, spiced ham, tomato pie, corn pudding, collard greens, cornbread and red velvet cake are considered the big guns.
But DO NOT… under any circumstances, forget to pack a good pimento cheese recipe in your holster.
Consider yourself warned.
Pimento cheese spread is the quintessential southern snack. A killer pimento cheese recipe must be thick and creamy, not runny and overly mayonnaise-y. It also needs to have a good amount of diced pimentos and a little extra something that no one can quite put their finger on.
Pimento cheese spread is fantastic on crackers, veggies, apples, sliced bread and as a topper for baked potatoes or broccoli.
My pimento cheese recipe is a little spicy. The “extra something” I add is a nip of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. I also use a combination of Extra Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack Cheese, instead of the traditional use of Cheddar and Monterrey Jack.
It is important to let the pimento cheese spread sit for a little while after it’s prepared to thicken and absorb all the flavors. Then set it in the middle of a crowd, put on your southern badge of honor, and watch it disappear at bullet-speed!
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 very small clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. chopped onion
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb. hot sauce
8 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar (2 cups)
8 oz. shredded pepper jack cheese (2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped pimentos, drained
Place the cream cheese, garlic and onion in the food processor. Puree until smooth.
Then add the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and puree again.
Scrape the bowl and add half the shredded cheese. Pulse until well combined.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the remaining cheese, pimentos and pepper to taste. Mix, cover and place in the fridge. Allow the pimento cheese spread to chill and thicken for 30 minutes.
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