Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pimento Cheese

When my dear husband said, "There's a great recipe for pimento cheese in the electric co-op magazine that I want to try",  I have to admit I looked at him cross-eyed. My childhood memories of pimento cheese involved a disagreeable paste one scooped out of little glass pots that later turned into juice glasses. This is not even vaguely related to that stuff. Pimento cheese is a classic in the South, and you'll find a wide variety of approaches, using all kinds of cheese and varying spices.

The original recipe from an article in the PerdernalesEC Edition of the Teas Co-op Power magazine (March 2010), by Juddi Morris:
Juddi's Pimento Cheese
1 pound grated longhorn or mild or sharp Cheddar cheese
6 ounces chopped pimento
1/2 c. minced onion
1/2 c. chopped green olives
3 T. capers
2/3 c. mayonnaise

I increased the amounts slightly, and thought it needed a bit more mayonnaise than the original proportions, so here's the final version.
1 1/2 pounds grated cheddar cheese (fine or coarse grate, your choice) this is about 5 c.
8 oz. chopped pimento
3/4 c. minced onion
3/4 c. chopped green olives (pimento stuffed type)
4 T. capers (chopped)
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients, then to meet your own tastes, add any of the following:
Tabasco, fresh lime juice, minced jalapeno peppers or other peppers of choice, chili powder, or anything else that appeals to you! My taste testers insisted it didn't need any of the additional ingredients suggested, so we continue to make it this way. It's great as a dip or sandwich filling, and goes well with sliced ham or roast beef. Good also on sourdough bread or plain crackers.

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