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Pimento Cheese Recipe

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I think I remember a thread about this a while ago but I can't find it. I'd like to see some of your pimento cheese recipes. Most of the recipes I've found on line use Miracle Whip. Is that necessary or can I use mayonnaise?

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  1. This is a friend's recipe, which has been sitting in my recipe box since I ate it at her house...unless she's lying about this recipe, it is really good.

    5 lb extra-sharp white Cheddar
    5 lb extra-sharp aged Cheddar (orange)
    1 jar pimentos (7 oz.), drained and finely chopped
    5 tsp. pepper
    cayenne to taste
    2/3 cup mayonnaise
    Grate cheeses, stir in pimento, pepper and cayenne. Add mayonnaise and stir with a fork, mashing until pretty smooth.
    Refridgerate covered for a few hours, though she says overnight is better...it lets the flavors develop.
    Hope that suites your fancy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Aaron

      Are the amounts correct? 10 pounds of cheese seems like a little much.

      1. re: eimac
        King of Northern Blvd.

        I would assume original recipe reads .5 lb or 1/2 lb of each..

        1. re: King of Northern Blvd.

          Exactly...I'm just lazy, so I type .5 rather than 1/2.

      2. I would never ruin pimento cheese with MW. ICK!!!!!!!!

        I roast 2-3 red bell peppers and peel, seed and chop. Rub the inside of a mixing bowl with a cut garlic clove and then grate a pound of sharp orange cheddar (white PC is just wrong to me but prefer white for anything else. Put the grated cheddar in the galicky bowl and and the chopped roasted red bell peppers. Sometimes I add a bit of minced onion too, I just love cheddar and onions, but just a bit, some grindings of fresh and coarsely ground black pepper and Hellman's or Dukes (if you can get it) to taste and bind. You don't want it too gloppy so add a spoonful at a time and stir. A touch of cayenne is nice too.

        Sometimes I used roasted green chilis in place of the bell peppers and then rachet up the garlic and onion a bit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Candy

          But then it's not really pimiento cheese, is it? It's a take on pimiento cheese, which is a Southern dish that consists of items people would have on hand -- cheese, jarred pimientos, and mayo.

          Your take sounds good, but it's not going to awaken nostalgia for anybody who grew up eating the real deal.

        2. My husband uses Candy's recipe for pimiento cheese but he INSISTS that instead of grating, you have to do the cheese in a brunoise. He says it makes the cheese spreadable without turning the whole thing to mush. I say it takes about five times as long, but since he is the one who makes the pimiento cheese in our house, he can do it however he pleases as long as I get to eat it.

          And no, we don't use Miracle Whip, either. It has its uses but that is not one of them.

          1. this is a recipe i use in my cooking classes and to sell at fundraisers.

            1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese
            4 ounces cream cheese
            1/2 cup mayonnaise (not MW)
            1/4 teaspoon onion powder
            1 small jar pimentos, drained
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1/4 teaspoon pepper

            mix the cheeses together and add the remaining ingredients.

            i like to use a mixer with the paddle attachment for complete blending and really making it creamy.

            this is a true southern recipe that i think was originally run in saveur magazine. the cream cheese might sound wierd but it really makes it creamier and more spreadable, while cutting down the cost (this is only a thought because i use it in mass quantities for a meal assembly fundraiser).

            1. Mine is so simple but you MUST use Duke's Mayo. It isn't as good with any other kind.

              One pound grated Sharpe Cheddar Cheese
              2 cups Dukes Mayo
              1 small jar chopped pimentos
              1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

              Mix mayo, pimentos, and cayenne pepper in large bowl until well blended. Add cheese and mix well.

              You'll find adding additional salt makes it too salty because the cheese is salty.

              6 Replies
              1. re: BlueHerons

                Excellent recipe. I hope that's a 4-oz. jar of pimentos. And you're correct about the Duke's.

                1. re: BlueHerons

                  Duke's is traditional in pimento cheese - it has to be Duke's.

                  That said, there was an article in The Charlotte Observer a couple of years ago about a few NC boys liviing in Oregon and selling their now famous biscuits and pimento cheese at the Portland farmers market. Apparently, folks line up for their food. Here is a link to their website: http://pinestatebiscuits.com/ And here is their recipe, which I haven't tried yet but looks delicious:

                  Pine State Pimento Cheese

                  2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

                  1 teaspoon fresh thyme

                  6 to 8 ounces fresh goat cheese

                  1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

                  2 to 3 whole roasted red peppers (fresh or canned)

                  2 tablespoons roasted garlic

                  12 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese

                  Salt and pepper to taste

                  HEAT sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add fresh thyme and simmer 2-3 minutes. Don't overcook.

                  PLACE goat cheese, butter, red peppers and roasted garlic in food processor and pulse until blended. With food processor on medium speed, slowly drizzle in thyme-infused oil until well blended. Transfer mixture to a bowl.

                  COARSELY GRATE cheddar over the top. Combine using a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate spread until thickened.

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    That cheese may taste just fine, but here in NC we don't hold with puttin' any of that fancy, citified stuff (aka goat cheese) in our 'Menta Cheese. Just Duke's, sharp cheddar, pimentos, and maybe some grated onion or pickle relish if you're really adventurous.

                    Seriously though, sesame oil and thyme in pimento cheese? That recipe may make a tasty enough cheese spread, but it's only a kissing cousin of the real deal.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      Now rockycat, don't get your panties in a bunch. I live in NC too, and am fully aware of what traditional PC tastes like. I wasn't claiming that this recipe is traditional. I was simply posting another PC recipe, created by 3 NC boys who are sellin' their grandma's biscuits and this cheese and people are standing in line for the stuff.

                    2. re: lynnlato

                      While that may be very good, it is not PC.

                  2. Please don't use Miracle Whip....only Duke's or Hellmans!

                    1. Dear posters, I recommend that posters not disparage the use of either mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. People normally have an affinity for what they grew up eating per Tom Calicchio and it is hurtful to hear such disparagement. I personally prefer mayonnaise in Pimiento Cheese; however, that does not mean that Miracle Whip is "ICK!!!!!!." When I lived in the deep South, I had friends who used each in their pimiento cheese.

                      I will say that I keep both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip in the refrigerator. It depends on what I am making as to what salad dressing I use.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: Wtg2Retire

                        That sounds perfectly reasonable, as long as I don't bite into a batch of pimento cheese that just happens to have "Miracle Ick" in it! (Historical Note: Southerners were marched into the ocean by Sherman for making pimento cheese with Miracle Ick.)

                        1. re: Mr. Haney

                          Glad somebody's keeping their sense of humor about this subject. I am a Southerner, and could still laugh.
                          By the by, lynnlato, any pimento and cheese made with a bunch of roasted garlic in it will be a winner, imho, in any part of the country. Mmmmmm. Mayo or MW, sweet roasted garlic is a good secret ingredient.

                          1. re: sancan

                            Speaking of humor, the other day my yankee husband got sent to the grocery store , and one of his instructions was to stock up on condiments.

                            When I got home he said "I got two jars of mayo, you use Helman's , right?"

                            I about choked, and spent several days biting my tongue from chewing him out over this unforgivable screw up. When I finally calmed down and said something gentle about "how are we going to get rid of this stuff?" he announced it was a joke. Apparently he's been here long enough to understand it Duke's or nothing. :-)

                        2. re: Wtg2Retire

                          Mircle Whip isnt even mayo...it has no place in pimento cheese. I have lived all over the South and I personally do not no one person who uses MW IN THEIR Pimento Cheese. I cant even think of anyone who uses it at all.
                          But the bottom line is when asked for opinions that is what you get....and MW is ick!

                          1. re: LaLa

                            Actually, I was being facetious with Wtg2Retire regarding MW. My wonderful mother was one of the many people who don't like mayo, so she used MW for everthing. My dad kept a jar of mayo hidden in the back of the fridge, which was a hoot. Personally, I can't handle the taste of MW, so I'm forced to see both sides. Now, on the subject of using cream cheese, I won't yield!!!!! : )

                            1. re: LaLa

                              Gently beg to differ :) Here in THIS part of the south, if you dont use MW in your Pimento Cheese <devilled eggs too>, you will be disgraced and kicked out of the potluck :) Pimento Cheese here is sweet....not so savory. Interesting how location determines taste sometimes.

                              1. re: jnky

                                What part of the South would that be?

                                1. re: LaLa

                                  Yes, having lived in several Southern states, that would be news to me, too. I know people who hide MW for fear of being disgraced! : ) And I can't conceive of adding sugar to pimento cheese. After all, it ain't dessert, and my granny would have a hissy fit to hear of it.

                                2. re: jnky

                                  I use Miracle Whip. Bought a gallon Friday.My brother in law resists going to Wal-Mart but he says he has to go to get the best price on a gallon of Miracle Whip. I have mayo in the fridge,my niece grabbed the wrong jar. I made a chocolate mayo cake out of part of it, even that didn't go over well so will probably end up pitching it. Mayo tastes to me like something that I need to get the hot sauce, Worchestershire,something after it because it tastes so flat. I used some in tater salad about 25 years ago, about 1/3 of the dressing I put in the salad. My niece came in,spied the tater salad, grabbed a bowlful and took a bite. Next thing I heard was "Yuck! You put some mayo in this!"I didn't do it again.
                                  My family managed to miss being marched into the sea by ( as I have always heard him called) that bastard Sherman. Maybe it's because my ancestors didn't have anything left after the war ended.
                                  I've been on several message boards over the years, and I feel certain that the Miracle Whip/mayo thread always gets a lot of attention. Makes me wish I had money invested in Kraft Foods.

                                3. re: LaLa

                                  Kraft shrewdly capitalizes on Miracle Whip’s polarizing reputation in a new ad campaign. Check out the new commercials featuring the very polarizing James Carville!


                                  Enjoy all 4 versions (1:08, :16, :31, :16) as I did!

                                  1. re: LaLa

                                    I lived in three Deep South States: Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama.

                                    1. re: Wtg2Retire

                                      Yes, but I was referring to jnky. My roots are TN, GA, AL, and MS, but I have never encountered sweet pimento cheese or felt disgraced that I was using real mayonnaise. Just curious.

                                      1. re: Mr. Haney

                                        I was respsonding to LaLa's 8:40 p.m. messages. Apologize for any confusion.

                                        1. re: Wtg2Retire

                                          I was talking to the other person too..

                                          1. re: LaLa

                                            I realize that. But in your previous message, you stated in response to my message: ... I have lived all over the South and I personally do not no one person who uses MW IN THEIR Pimento Cheese. I cant even think of anyone who uses it at all.
                                            Therefore, I was advising where in the Deep South I had lived where MW and mayo were used in all.

                                            Oh, I lived in Kentucky, too.

                                    2. re: LaLa

                                      You're right; Miracle Whip was developed as a mass-produced "cooked dressing" when production became available, but that cooked dressing is something that just about every home cook, especially Southern home cooks, has a recipe for. And it tastes amazingly like Miracle Whip. But when we get straight down to it, jarred mayo isn't "real" mayo either; if you check out the ingredient list.

                                  2. Here is the post you were originally searching for:


                                    Good Luck!

                                    1. I like mayo in my pimento cheese and while I am sure that our ancestors did not do this - adding a bit of chopped jalapeno gives a nice zip.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: libstewart

                                        Jalapeno pimento cheese is hugely popular in the South. I've never seen pimento cheese displayed in a dairy case that didn't also have the jalapeno variety.

                                        1. re: jnky

                                          Interesting as I am from Ky orginally ...past Bowling Green is the mid west in my opinion Eastern Ky is Southern.
                                          KY, TN, Ga, and SC here.

                                          1. re: MacTAC

                                            That looks great. Craig Claiborne was the best. I'll try it.

                                            1. re: MacTAC

                                              I just made that as for an appetizer with cocktails for a dinner party with southern food. IMO, the Worcester Sauce gave everything an unappealing brown tinge. Two tablespoons is a lot. I'd use a couple of drops the next time.

                                            2. I guess I am odd man out here--I don't use either MW or mayo. I use good cheddar cheese and pimentoes, adding the liquid from the pimento jar to get the consistency I want.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Cliocooks

                                                Now that sounds very interesting. I use the juce along with the mayonnaise. Your approach sounds like a deli I know that makes tuna salad with pickle relish, omitting the mayonnaise.

                                                1. re: Mr. Haney

                                                  Cooks Illustrated had a recipe for Pimento Cheese that was awesome, it just took a couple minutes in the food processor. I ran out of pimento peppers the second time and used peppadews and that was great too it was foolproof and so easy, I loved it..