Sunday, September 11, 2011

Radical Cooking - Pimento Cheese - The Caviar of the South



My niece, Janette, asked for this recipe.

She's from Brooklyn, NY, and I don't know for sure, but think this may have been her first tasting of the "Caviar of the South".

Pimento cheese is a staple.  You just can't have a southern eating event without it!

Everyone has their own take on the recipe, this is mine.

Lately, I've been buying pimento cheese spread made by Ballard Farms of West Virginia.
Yes, I know, I should be making my own.... but it's good and the container is so easy to open!!


Cheesecake Farms Pimento Cheese
(The correct way to say this cheese, in southern speak, is "Pah-men-ah".  You will never hear a southerner say Pi-men-toe.)

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Makes about 3 cups
Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving to blend flavors.  Longer, even over night, is better.
Keeps about a week in the fridge but, in our hours, there's never any hanging around that long.
Serve (in true southern style) with saltines.  Other crackers are just not right!  And NEVER serve this with tortilla chips or bagels!!
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1/2 pound shredded orange cheddar cheese (about 2 cups - white cheddar may taste OK but the look will be wrong)
14 oz. jar diced pimentos (drained - fresh red peppers, roasted red peppers or fired roasted red peppers are not recommended)
8 oz. regular cream cheese - softened (low fat or fat free not recommended)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
Heavy cream to taste (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 pound shredded orange cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
Salt to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon Kosher - but do taste before adding)

With mixer, combine cream cheese, pimentos, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar.  Pimentos may smash a little but most will stay in chunks.  With mixer on low, stir in cream until you like the consistence.

By hand, fold in cheese.  Add salt, if desired.  Refrigerate until serving time.

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