Hey Y’All <he says in the nasal twang of Paula Deen>>
The first time I had heard of pimiento cheese, I was living in Texas and a friend pulled out a tub of Price’s Original Pimiento Cheese to feed his dog a pill. Dog pill food. When I asked what it was, he said that his mom used to give him sandwiches made with pimiento cheese and WonderBread in his lunch for school. I’m not sure why (and don’t judge because I know it’s happening to you too), but images of trailer parks flashed in and out of my mind. The taste was pretty okay – not offensive, bland actually – mild cheddar cheese, pimientos, mayo, and some seasonings… meh.
Over the years I have tasted many different homemade versions of this cheese spread – some better than others, some with mustard, some with Worcestershire sauce, and generally always made with mayo. I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did and I realized that it was the mayo that wasn’t jiving with me. When made with mayo, the texture is a little loose and sloppy. Generally, the flavor needed to be ramped up as well. In the past I have hosted a Southern food feast. A couple years ago , a friend from West Virginia asked if I knew how to make it, and so began the challenge. I swapped the mayo for softened cream, spiced it up a little, but mostly changing the cheese to extra sharp cheddar made all the difference… she loved it!
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp grated onion (not finely chopped)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large pinch cayenne
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz. jar chopped pimientos, drained
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Thoroughly combine everything up to the cheddar cheese and pimientos. Fold in the cheese and pimientos and then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Alternately, dump everything into a food processor and blitz (which is what I did for the pic) – it’s just a little smoother is all. It can be enjoyed at this point, but it is really best if it’s left to sit in the fridge for an hour or two to let the ingredients to get to know each other.
Pimiento cheese is a great snack or nice accompaniment to crudités. And I’m sure it would make great tea sandwiches as well — even on WonderBread. Whip up a batch and enjoy!
Share this recipe and click like, if you wanna… thanks!