If you grew up in the South, this spread was most likely in the fridge throughout your childhood. Pimento cheese makes a great sandwich on mini pumpernickel, black Russian rye or whole wheat bread. In a small dish, it can be eaten with pretzels, celery or carrot sticks and or as a topping for hamburgers and a savory morning egg sandwich. The more you use it, the more you will want to experiment.
This is a basic recipe matching the taste I grew up with in Texas. I’ve been known to add extra ingredients, like spicy pickled jalapeños, green chiles, smokey chili powder, roasted garlic, pecans or more onion. Try this recipe to get a solid baseline of the flavor profile all Southerners started with. In certain parts of the South, this must be made with Dukes Mayonnaise, but the best quality mayonnaise available to you should do the trick. I will endeavor to also show you how to make homemade mayonnaise in a future post, since nothing beats homemade…anything homemade…in my book. Check out this featured pimento cheese spread inside a Fried Green Tomato Stack.
Southern Style Pimento Cheese
Pimento Cheese is great with a bag of pretzels, but is also quite versatile. Try Pimento Cheese in a fried egg sandwich, use it as a topping for a freshly grilled hamburger, stuff pimento cheese inside squash blossoms and serve on a toasted baguette slice, bump up your grits with pimento cheese, or melt it under a broiler on top of some freshly made french fries.
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 4oz jar pimento pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp pickle juice from jar, kosher style
- 1/2 tsp tabasco style sauce, such as Crystal
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground chipotle pepper
- 3 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices, roughly chopped (optional)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
In an electric mixing bowl (or food processor)fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk the room temperature cream cheese.
Once the cream cheese is whisked, add the rest of the ingredients except the sharp cheddar shreds. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, while scraping down the sides of the bowl every few seconds to make sure the cream cheese has been incorporated.
Add the shredded sharp cheddar and whisk in briefly just to mix in. If the mixture is too wet, add additional cheese to firm up. Adjust the final seasoning with salt, if needed.
You can make this by hand with soft room temperature cream cheese. It's just easier using a food processor or electric mixer.