Ever since Taco wrote a post mentioning his first time having pimento cheese I have been craving it. (I’m still astonished that a place so famed for its dairy products that fans of a local sports team call themselves cheeseheads doesn’t have pimento cheese. It’s basically chicken salad with the meat replaced with cheese.)

Sunday I asked Mother Dearest to help me make a batch of pimento (or “puh-minna” if you want to sound like a local) cheese, and it turned out awesome. You may notice that the measurements aren’t very exact for some ingredients, this is because MD’s recipe is more like a guideline than anything else – as she puts it “I don’t have a recipe, but I know how to make it” – which is the mark of a good cook but sucks for the person (me) trying to write down the recipe. I suggest starting at the lower end and add a bit more at the time until you reach the desired results. (Another gem from MD – “You can’t take it out!”)

The cream cheese and garlic are my own additions to her non-recipe, they make for a creamier and tastier spread but can be omitted if desired.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2-3 oz cream or neufchâtel cheese (optional)
  • 1/3 -1/2 C diced pimentos, drained (approx.)
  • 1/2-3/4 C  salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic paste (optional)

Soften the cream cheese and drain the pimentos.

If “drain your peppers” isn’t a euphemism, it should be.

While your cheese is softening and the peppers are draining, grate the Cheddar cheese. This will be the most labor-intensive portion of the recipe – it’s right on-par with Rice Krispie treats in terms of difficulty.

Fun fact – this grater belonged to my grandmother. I kinda wish it was haunted so I wouldn’t have to grate things myself.

Now, through the magic of the Internet – tiny bits of cheese!

It is quite a splendorous sight.

Now that you’ve done the hard part, mix everything together. I suggest adding the garlic, pimentos, and cream cheese together first and then add the grated cheese a bit at the time.

Cream cheese and pimentos, looking oddly like the top of a sundae that no one would eat.

I initially added about half a cup of salad dressing but once it was mixed it didn’t “feel” right when it was stirred – was a bit too thick. Another quarter cup got it just right. This is mainly a choice of personal preference; you want it thick enough to hold together but thin enough to spread easily.

Mostly mixed up at this point, just need to add the extra salad dressing.

Once you have it mixed up to your specifications, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for several hours or overnight to let the flavors blend. Like a good chili, pimento cheese is better the next day.

Finding room in the fridge for this big bowl was like playing culinary Tetris.

After sitting (and sandwich-making.)

Traditionally pimento cheese is served as a sandwich, but it’s also good on crackers.

Or better yet, both.

The best way, in my opinion, to enjoy this delectable delight is grilled. As evidence, allow me to submit this hipster-esque close up of a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. 

If you are at work, please refrain from licking your monitor.

It’s also quite good slathered on English muffins and popped in the toaster over to broil for a bit. (250 for ten minutes.) 

The true breakfast of champions.

I have a coirker who I’ve seen eating pimento cheese on slices of apple, I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds yummy.

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