Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pimiento Cheese Toasts

Being a Jersey boy, Mr. O-P never understood my relationship with pimiento cheese. Under the name of "cheese salad," this was served between two pieces of white bread once a week, for twelve years, while I was in school. Picky eater that I was, I always looked forward to Thursdays when I knew they'd be serving something I'd enjoy. Mother made it occasionally, but once I was on my own, this became a staple in my diet.

This is my kind of comfort food. Easy to prepare, and amazingly versatile, it can be served warm or cold, can be plain or fancy, grilled or not grilled, offered with vegetables or crackers, spread on top of ham that has been folded nicely and sandwiched between two halves of a fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuit, or dolloped generously on top of a burger right off the grill.

Pimiento cheese also makes one heck of an appetizer when spread on slices of an authentic French baguette and warmed under the broiler for a few minutes. These tasty bits are quick and easy to put together and, trust me when I tell you, are very hard to stop eating.

You probably have your own recipe for pimiento cheese, but in case you don't, I'm going to supply my current favorite here. Whatever kind you make, there are three things that are of utmost importance. First of all, get good quality cheddar cheese in a block and grate your own. Never buy that desiccated pre-shredded stuff.  Second, forget pimientos, despite the name, and use Melissa's Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers. The difference in taste when using these over a jar of insipid pimientos is remarkable. Third, Duke's mayonnaise. Yes, there is a difference.
Pimento Cheese
Slightly adapted from Garden & Gun

2 cups sharp orange cheddar, grated (8 oz.)
½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
½ cup
Melissa's Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers, drained and chopped
2 scallions, chopped (use both the green and white parts)
½  tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne
3 drops of Tabasco

Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and fold together with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to meld.

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sandy said...

I love the sound of it. I was just reading this to my husband and he asked me if I had ever had pimento cheese which i haven't - he loves it so...this will be saved off for us to try later. Thanks for the recipe.

bj said...

Oh, I am so so excited to get your recipe. I LOVE pimento cheese but have ALways wondered if something else could be used instead of pimentos.
I can't wait to try this....and on a good bread...under the broiler...sounds like heaven...now, I have never heard of this mayo...I wonder if we use Hellmans mayo if it will be NEARLY as good as yours?
I just can't wait to try it.....thanks, sister friend.

thepaintedapron.com said...

I love pimiento cheese Pattie, and I must try it with Melissa's roasted red peppers. I agree, a good quality block of cheese and Duke's! I wish I had one of your toasts for lunch!

bj said...

Patti...at the gro store, because I didn[t make a list, I could not,for the life of me, remember what went into your recipe...I won;t be going into town for the next few days...I was sooo hungry to try your recipe, I mixed up the cheese, mayo, onions, pepper and hot sauce...I had one pepper,
fresh Anaheim pepper...fire roasted it on my gas stove ...put the mixture on little French bread rounds...toasted and took a big bite...well...the Anaheim turned out to be a Jalapeno pepper...it was HOT....and about the most delicious thing I've ever put in my mouth (that is burning as I type)
I WILL make it with the red peppers but just wanted you to know that I really like your recipe....what great treats to serve my Bunco ladies....thanks so much