First, let me clear up a dilemma…the pimento vs pimiento dilemma. Why different spellings? Is it like doughnuts vs donuts?! These are question I ponder. Well, worry no more. You can spell it either way, it means the same thing, the variation in spelling has to do with the country of origin (and, you know, if you really want to know more…Google is your friend). Pimento/pimiento is a cherry pepper that can be mild or spicy depending on the variety. The ones I buy in the jar from the grocery store are pretty mild.
If you are from the South, you probably are very familiar with pimento cheese. It’s kind of a Southern staple found at picnics, potlucks, baby showers…you name it. Little pimento cheese sandwiches on white bread cut into little triangles or shapes…a tradition 🙂 They are also delicious. However, my favorite way to eat pimiento cheese?
Or, you can make a grilled cheese with it. Now, there are a couple of different ways to make pimiento/pimento cheese. The easiest method…
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or you can mix sharp and mild)
- 1 jar of pimientos (I use the large jar, but if you are not a huge fan, you may want to use the small jar)
- light mayo – enough to bind it all together. I never measure this, and the quantity will vary based on which jar of pimientos you use, if you use the juice of the pimientos (I do) and personal preference.
Add cheese to a medium size mixing bowl. Dump in the entire jar of pimientos (juice and all). Mix well. Add enough mayo to bind it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of pepper!
This is how I have made mine for years…until recently. I recently made Bobby’s version. If you are thinking Bobby who? Well, Bobby DEEN of course! Paula’s beloved son. Regardless of your feelings towards Paula and her ‘I said a bad word 20 years ago that used to be socially acceptable, however ugly it is, and now it’s not for a certain segment of the population but okay for others’ drama; the woman can cook. Albeit not the healthiest of meals, but she has a lot of recipes that are pretty awesome. Her son Bobby has come along and often times will ‘healthify’ some of his mama’s recipes, or make his own. Anyway, this is my version of Bobby’s Pimento Cheese which I originally found through Madison and Mayberry.
Bobby’s Pimento Cheese
6-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or too taste)
1 large jar pimentos, undrained
Salt, Cracked black pepper, Onion Powder – too taste
- Mix cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in both cheeses, and entire jar of pimentos (juice and all).
- Mix well (I do this by hand, but you can use a mixer if you want a smoother/creamier spread).
- Stir in enough mayo to reach desired consistency – you may want a little more or less than I use. Cheese mixture will thicken up a little the next day.
- Add a little salt, plenty of pepper and a little onion powder to reach desired taste.
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