Growing up in the south I have a special place in my heart and stomach for classic southern foods. There are so many delicious southern foods that I love. One of the ones with multiple uses is pimiento cheese.
Pimiento cheese is the cheese of the south that is easy to make at home making overpriced store brands obsolete. The ingredients are simple and there are endless ways to use pimiento cheese. You can use it just for snacking and spreading on your favorite crackers, as a filling for sandwiches (especially grilled cheese) to a topping for your burgers.
The key ingredients are extra sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese and of course some pimiento! Pimiento is a type of red pepper, that is typically stuffed into olives. You can find pimiento in jars typically in your vegetable aisle. If you can’t find it though, don’t despair. Head on over to your pickle aisle and pick up some roasted red peppers and dice them up and they will work in a pinch.
For the rest of the ingredients, you can use regular, low-fat, fat-free products. They all work equally as well with only minor changes to the flavor. For example, your fat-free products tend to have more sugar in them to make up for the loss of fat so you may end up with a pimiento cheese that is a bit sweeter. The same goes for the whole Mayo vs. Miracle Whip debate. My thoughts on Mayo are completely un-southern, I hate plain mayo. For that matter, I don’t like Miracle Whip either. Please hold them from my sandwiches. I just have never liked the stuff but when you mix it into something I will eat it and I can tell the difference. Miracle Whip gives foods a bit of an extra twang and some foods it pairs well with better than others so if you go into my fridge you will often find both. For pimiento cheese, I prefer it to be made with Mayo. Duke’s, Hellman’s, or whatever brand I can get if I can’t get one of those two.
Finally, this pimiento cheese has a bit of a kick from cayenne and jalapenos. While jalapenos aren’t usually in pimiento cheese they are a welcome addition. The jalapeno can be omitted for a classic pimiento cheese taste.
Once your ingredients are gathered up all that is left to do is throw them all in your mixer and mix them up. You can eat your pimiento cheese right away or set it in the fridge for a bit so your flavors can meld together and get happy. Whichever way you choose your taste buds will love you and want more!
What is your favorite way to eat pimiento cheese?
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento, drained
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Place the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, minced jalapeno, and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed, with paddle if possible, until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Recipe is Southern Pimiento Cheese from Allrecipes.