What is Pimento Cheese and How to Make it
Pimento cheese is a classic in southern cuisine especially popular for parties or in lunch boxes as pimento cheese is loved by all. Largely, pimento cheese is a combination of cheddar cheese, sweet spicy pimento peppers and mayonnaise. This gives it a creamy, somewhat sweet taste that is a perfect accompaniment to lots of things. Pimento cheese is an addictive taste that effortlessly goes with lot of your top picks like sandwiches, crackers and burgers.
What Is Pimento?
Pimento is made from peppers of the same name which are glorious bright red in color. They are usually heart-shaped sweet peppers which are typically a few inches long and wide. In comparison to others in the pepper family, these peppers have the lowest amount of heat making them really popular with everybody. They are mild and pleasant and have an enjoyable flavor which works really well at complimenting sharp cheese flavors. Pimento peppers add lots of flavor to a recipe and that is why they are used to make cheese taste great. They are commonly sold in jars and the majority of stores stock them and they are generally found beside the olives.
Pimento cheese can be made better if you roast your own peppers at home which is very easy to do. Homemade pimento cheese is so individual, so it is important to play with tastes and textures as everyone likes different flavors as their favorite.
- Completely wash and dry your uncut peppers leaving the stems on.
- Place the peppers on a baking sheet and put them into a hot oven for 30 minutes.
- Turn regularly to ensure even cooking.
- Once the skin has turned black and charred all over, then you need to remove them from the oven and place them in a plastic container to cool. Keep the lid tightly on and the steam will relax the skin of the pepper. Now you can slip the skins off, take off the stem, take away the seeds and chop up the rest of the pepper ready to use to make your pimento cheese.
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Now you have the peppers covered it is time to think about the type of cheese you are going to use in your easy pimento cheese recipe. Every chef will have their own idea on which type of cheese to use for this classic party dish. Pimiento cheese spread might be an easy thing to make, but there is one big way that can quickly ruin the recipe, that is if you decide to use pre-shredded cheese. This is because in a recipe that is this easy to make, getting the right texture is crucial. It may be a little more time consuming to bring out a box grater, but it will absolutely pay off eventually in terms of taste. You can also pop your cheese into your food processor to get the job done quicker.
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Hard chees is the best to use to make pimento cheese. It is certainly recommended that using home shredded sharp cheddar cheese, instead of store-bought pre shredded cheese, is going to give you the best finish in the end. Pre-packaged shredded cheese also will often have a coating on it which stops the cheese clumping in the packaging which means the cheese will not cream together well where cheese shredded from the block does.
Easy Pimento Cheese Recipe
It is too easy to create this popular Southern cheese once you have all of the quality ingredients ready to hand. The best pimento cheese recipe gives you a signature dish that you and your family will be craving time and time again. Blend together your home roasted peppers with creamy mayonnaise and a distinctive sharp cheese and this will give you a mixture that keeps you going back for more.
- 2 cups mayonnaise,
- 1 jar of chopped pimiento peppers,
- 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to season
- To start you need to allow the cheese to soften to room temperature before shredding to make it easier for you. Shred the cheese using both the small and large side of your box grater to achieve both coarsely and finely shredded sharp cheese for added texture.
- Add in a bowl the shredded cheese, mayonnaise, grated onion and cayenne pepper. Stir until they are all mixed together. You can combine all of the ingredients by hand or you can even use a mixer to make sure they are fully combined. Then you can steadily fold in your diced pimentos into the mix to add heat and texture and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow the mix to settle in your fridge for at least an hour, or for even better flavor, leave it overnight before using your pimento spread.
For extra crunch you could toast nuts like pecans to add to the mix. Toasted nuts have a richer flavor which is a great addition to pimento cheese. Simply preheat your oven and bake on a high heat. Lay your nuts out on a baking sheet and bake for around10 minutes or until brown. Stirring the nuts frequently will help to make sure that you produce and even browning. Other ingredient like chopped up celery, bell peppers and various spices can also be experimented with.
You will be able to store this cheese mix in your refrigerator for around 1 week. Eat it as it is, add it to celery or crackers, or you can use the mixture to make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. If you are lucky enough to have the luxury of time to grill, you can make the ultimate grilled pimento cheese sandwich using thick white bread and a panini grill.
So, pimento cheese is a popular tangy cheese spread that is also known a Southern classic. You are able to spread it on crackers, make pimento cheese sandwiches or use it as a tasty dip for chips and veggies like celery and peppers.
- Pimento Cheese Recipes That’ll Take You Down South – HuffPost
- Southern Pimento Cheese Recipe – Allrecipes