I had a reader request for a pimiento cheese recipe, so I will share my great-grandmotherís recipe. My grandmother used to make pimiento cheese sandwiches for us when we would visit and it took a while before my young taste buds acquired a taste for it. Now I love it! Itís so simple, yet flavorful and works well as a sandwich, or dip for crackers and vegetables.
Until a few years ago I had never heard of or seen pimiento cheese anywhere outside of my family. I assumed it was Southern because my grandmother made mostly Southern, family recipes, but I really wasnít sure. It is most definitely a Southern recipe and is apparently known as the caviar of The South.
1 lb. extra sharp cheddar
2 jars chopped pimientos (including juice)
Ĺ cup mayonnaise
Finely grate the cheese. In a large bowl, blend shredded cheese, pimientos, a hefty squeeze of lemon juice and pepper to taste.
Blend mayonnaise into the mixture a heaping tablespoon at a time until the consistency you desire is reached. I tend not to use a lot of mayonnaise because I prefer it less creamy. When you have it where you want it, let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Taste it again the next day and add more lemon, pepper or mayo to suite your tastes.
Spread on fresh or toasted bread, with crackers or vegetables. I like putting it in the toaster oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Another recipe, this one from my great aunt, may or may not be Southern, traditionally, but she said she and her siblings ate it a lot, is a cheese and olive spread on English muffins. I first had this at her house just a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised at how good it is.
This recipe makes 6 muffins.
1 Ĺ cups grated American cheese
1 cup chopped black olives
Ĺ cup chopped onion
Ĺ tsp salt
Ĺ tsp curry powder
Ĺ cup mayonnaise
6 English muffins
Butter split muffins and toast in toaster oven. Mix cheese, olives, onion, salt, curry powder and mayonnaise and spread over toasted muffins. Put muffins back in toaster oven a few minutes, to melt the spread.
My great aunt likes American cheese, but Iíve never cared for it so I use cheddar and it works just as well. This is really tasty as a little snack or paired with a salad for lunch. This mixture will keep in the refrigerator for several days in an air-tight container.