Pimento cheese was once the go to party choice for finger sandwiches or stuffed celery sticks (or at least here in the south). Then a few years ago I noticed that pimento cheese had made a comeback. Some bars now serve it as a spread with crackers or pita chips instead of the typical bowl of peanuts. You’ll also find it used as toppings on hamburgers and hotdogs, even in scrambled eggs. Of course, nothing beats a grilled pimento cheese on a good white bread.
The recipe below is for your basic pimento cheese, but you might experiment by adding some chopped fresh parsley and nuts to give it a little texture, especially if you’re using it as a spread. You can also mix up the cheeses by adding blue cheese or use a variety of sharp white and yellow cheeses. Cream cheese is another variation requiring less mayonnaise. Try adding garlic if you aren’t wild about jalapeños. Experiment and have fun creating your very own unique and “adult” pimento cheese!
8 ounces Cheddar, Longhorn or Colby, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 (2 ounce) jar chopped pimentos and their juices
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
20 fresh jalapeño chiles, whole pickled jalapeños in a jar, or small sweet fresh banana chile peppers
Pimento or roasted red bell pepper strips, for garnish
Place the cheese in a medium bowl and add the onion, pimentos with their juice, mustard, and mayonnaise. Blend well with a spoon.
This is great for making pimento cheese sandwiches and also for stuffing into Jalapeno Chile halves, or use as a spread with crackers, toasted baguette slices, crudités, or apple slices.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Serves 8 to 10
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