Posts Tagged ‘pimiento cheese’

In Memoriam Pimiento Cheese

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The ingredients before mixing…….

Last Saturday my family and I gave a gala party to celebrate the life of my mother Jan (a.k.a. Taffy), who died in December. We delighted in good food, good drink, and good company.

Being basically lazy, I asked guests to bring food, which they did in abundance. Pam brought tea sandwiches, Debbie brought potato salad, Trina brought the biggest green salad I have ever seen, Ruth brought shrimp, Peter brought MORE shrimp in a salad with artichokes and cilantro pesto, Mary Stuart brought quinoa, Leslie brought delicate cookies, Mardi and David brought watermelon, and so on.

SOMEBODY brought champagne. (I have no idea who, but it was very nice indeed.)

My family supplied tubs of Bart’s ice cream with homemade sauces and tested a recipe from our friend Lark Fleury for pimiento cheese.

Lark tells me that after fried chicken this cheese is the most popular funeral-related food among her neighbors in coastal Alabama. (I wasn’t about to mess with fried chicken in hot weather!)

Her recipe is quite different from my usual one; the mustard, onion, and relish add complexity to the spread. I gave most of the cheese to our friend Pam to put in some of her tea sandwiches, but my family also tried a bit on crackers. I know my mother would have approved.

If you’d like to read more about the party, visit my non-food blog for a full report.

Lark’s Alabamian Pimiento Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (it won’t surprise regular readers to learn that I grated it rather coarsely, I’m sure)
1/4 cup of grated onion
1 4-ounce jar diced pimentos drained (I may have used a little extra pimiento)
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise (more or less)
a dash of pepper

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients, beginning with just a dab of mayonnaise and adding more until the cheese is spreadable.

Spread on bread/crackers or make small sandwiches. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Makes about 1 quart.

I THOUGHT I had taken a photo of the cheese in its final state, but it’s not in my camera. So here’s a better picture, of the day’s honoree, taken last year….

Pimiento Cheese

Monday, August 16th, 2010

 
I have written before of my love of the summer BLT (or BOLT). Every once in a while, however, one of my guests is a vegetarian and doesn’t want the B in that delicious sandwich. So instead I haul out the cheese and serve CLTS (or COLTS).
 
I fell in love with pimiento cheese when I lived in Tennessee. I’m not sure why it never caught on here in Yankeeland, but I enjoy whipping up a batch from time to time.
 
Many of you will be appalled at the addition of salt to an already sodium-rich concoction so I’m making the salt optional, but it does bring the flavors out. Obviously, the hot peppers should be used to taste as well.
 
The Spread
 
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained (reserve 1 tablespoon of the liquid) and finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
several turns of the pepper grinder
1 tablespoon red-pepper brine
salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
mayonnaise to taste (start with 1 tablespoon)
 
Instructions:
 
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Stir to combine. If the mixture doesn’t hold together, add a little more mayonnaise. 

Chill the cheese blend for at least 1/2 hour. Stir before serving. Makes about 1 cup compacted pimiento cheese.


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