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The Best Pimento Cheese Ever

Do you have a great recipe you'd be willing to share? I'm looking for something on the more traditional side, something that will go great on terrible thick squishy white bread.


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  1. If you're really into P-cheese, make a $15 or more contribution to the Southern Foodways Alliance and they'll give you a copy of the "2003 Pimento Cheese Invitational", which is a wonderful book filled with PC stories and recipes. SFA invited people all over the US to submit their recipes and picked an overall winner. I warn you: it involves homemade mayo. http://www.southernfoodways.com/catal...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      The top three recipes are also available online on their website. I found those a while ago but I was looking for ones that came with personal "endorsements." Have you made any of those and what do you think of them?

      1. re: rockycat

        I don't have my copy at hand, but I'm partial to the "nouveau" ones with some addded garlic & a little blue cheese in addition to the traditional cheddar.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          I endorse the SFA route, great people, great site, great recipes.
          Over the years my recipe has migrated a bit. I now add a touch of fresh thyme and lemon zest. I really love this new flavour profile.

    2. Here is an excellent version, tweaked only by using two types of cheeses.

      One note: We are pimento cheese fanatics in my family, we ate it all the time growing up. My maternal grandmother, a wonderful cook, made a 'spicy' version we all loved. She made it similar to the recipe below, but she used Durkee Sandwich Sauce (http://www.amazon.com/Durkee-Famous-S...) rather than Mayo. It was also terrific.


      1/2 lb extra-sharp Vermont White Cheddar
      1/2 lb extra-sharp aged New York (orange) cheddar
      1 (7-oz) jar of pimentos, drained and finely chopped
      1 t black pepper (or to taste
      )cayenne to taste
      salt to taste
      2/3 cup mayonnaise

      Finely grate cheeses into a large bowl. Stir in pimentos and seasoning.

      Stir in mayonnaise, mashing until relatively smooth (or to your own desired consistency).

      Scrape into a crock or jar and let chill at least 2 hours.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tom P

        Thanks. I found that one in Gourmet from November 1999 and it was first on my list to try. Good to know that it's well thought of.

        1. re: rockycat

          Try to get your hands on some Duke's mayo -- secret ingredient in the real deal.

          1. re: pikawicca

            I keep Duke's for deviled eggs and pimento cheese and Hellman's for sandwiches. I've got my priorities straight. :-)

            1. re: pikawicca

              +1 on the Duke's. There is a difference.

              And rockycat...Hellman's for sandwiches? Noooooo...!!! ;)

        2. This is my usual recipe. It's more Texas-traditional than Deep South-traditional, because a spicier, jalapeno-spiked version is more popular in my ancestral homeland. As much as I love a good pimiento cheese sandwich, I usually eat this with tortilla chips and carrot/celery sticks.

          1 (4 oz.) jar chopped pimiento, drained
          1 cup mayonnaise (regular, low-fat or, if you're stylin', homemade)
          1 tablespoon lemon juice
          1 teaspoon dry mustard
          1/2 teaspoon ground ancho or other chile
          1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
          1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
          8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
          8 ounces jack cheese with jalapenos, grated

          Mix everything but the cheese together with a whisk, then fold in cheese with spatula. Refrigerate at least six hours. Keeps in refrigerator up to 10 days.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            calling all pimiento (or pimento) cheese experts: are these pimientos the ones that are in a vinegar solution? I have a big jar that I need to figure out what to do with.

          2. My family always makes it by ear (so to speak) Just take what cheddar you have on hand, roughly 8 oz (usually we use white but yellow is more traditional). Take one small jar of pimentoes (not chopped). Run them together through a Mouli grater with the small holes in (you want the cheese as small as possible). Add about 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions. Add enough mayo to make the mixture sticky-wet. Overeat at once.

            1. You can NOT make Pimento Cheese - not even bad Pimento Cheese - with pre-grated cheese. Whatever the stuff is that the cheese is coated with (potato starch?) to keep it from sticking together, prevents it from blending well. Learned that lesson when I tried to use it to save time when I had to make a big batch in a hurry for a picnic. Never again.

              1. The best recipe is the corrected one in the Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook. The original recipe is on their website but there it is written as it was submitted by the winner of the contest, which means the proportions are just approximations. It is the BEST pimento cheese I've ever tasted.

                Two things, though: you have to use Southern-style jarred pimentos (Dromedary or Kroger's in-house brand) or it won't taste right. Also, it's really not necessary to make homemade mayonnaise for this recipe - just doctor Best Foods/Hellman's with the lemon juice, cayenne, mustard, onion powder and sugar which is supposed to go into the homemade mayo. Works spectacularly.

                Don't be afraid of the onion powder, either - for some reason it works better than fresh onion. This recipe is superb on anything, but particularly good white bread. Sometimes simple is best, and this is now my go-to summer recipe (no cooking!).

                1. Simple:

                  8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
                  2 oz jar chopped pimentos drained
                  1 garlic clove minced
                  1/8-1/4 t cayenne
                  1/4 c mayo (or more if needed)

                  Mix all together. I usually add a little more mayo to get it to a creamier consistency. Chill for a few hours. I serve with celery or cocktail bread.

                  I get raves from mid-Westerners who have never had pimento cheese. I'm taking it to a girls night out on Thursday night.

                  1. I'll tel you the secret to great pimento cheese and you don't need Vermont or New York cheddar to get exactly ( I think I'm feelin you) what you want. I'll even throw in some variations. To make 4 cups you need 8 oz extra sharp cheddar, FINELY shredded (or grated), 8 oz of sharp cheddar coarsely shredded (or grated). This is the secret. You NEED one fine and one coarse for the proper texture. If you have a box grater, you're set. 1 tsp.worcestershire, 1 tsp.grated onion, 1 1/2 cups Duke's or Hellman's, 4 oz pimientoes, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper. Variations include but are not limited to:1. add 2 seeded and minced jalapenos,2. reduce mayo to 3/4 cup. Add 8 oz soft cream cheese and 5 oz jar drained sliced salad olives 3.BACON! 4. add 3/4 cup toasted pecans (my favorite) Then make some fried green tomatoes and take that squishy white bread and make a sandwich that will make your eyes roll back in your head : ) P.S Southerners never ever put garlic , scallions, dry mustard, chiles or other such frou frou nonsense in pimento cheese.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shecrab

                      Never? My Mother hails from Tupelo, Mississippi and she wouldn't think of making Pimento Cheese without scallions. And it isn't because she likes "frou frou" nonsense - it's because that's the way our family makes it.