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Taking pimento cheese to the next level

  • Veggo Nov 4, 2013 03:36 PM
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A couple have enjoyed my pimento cheese for some time. They reciprocated with their version, made with a variety of peppers they grew and roasted. Wow! I'm thinking of collaborating with them to make a gourmet pimento cheese with their roasted peppers and a good aged Canadian cheddar for our enjoyment. Anyone out there who has kicked pimento cheese up a notch?

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  1. I like to make smoked gouda & white cheddar pimento cheese with roasted poblanos & caramelized onions...toasted on sourdough with crispy bacon is one of the best sammiches I ever made. It's also good as a cheese ball, spread on crostinis etc.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Wow, Cheryl, does that sound good. We may be on to something here!

      1. re: Cherylptw

        That sounds amazing! I've never even really thought about playing with pimento cheese, it's just something I throw together for my low-carbing daughter.

        Considering she has a (21st, yikes) b-day coming up, I guess I'm turning up the appy's a little before her b-day dinner.

        1. re: shanagain

          You must try this combination; it's so so good. You'll want to try it on a toasted roll with a poached or fried egg, spooned on top of hash browns or potato hash, on top of a baked potato, piped into deviled eggs...the possibilities are endless...

        2. re: Cherylptw

          You inspired me to buy my first poblanos. What's your preferred roasting method? I'm gonna mix with merguez sausage and sharp cheddar or feta.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I put mine on the grill and get them completely black on all sides. Then into a plastic bag for maybe ten minutes. At that point they're pretty easy to peel and you can keep as many or few seeds as you like. Except for one time I've never found them to be hot. YMMV.

            1. re: c oliver

              But be forewarned that the heat can vary quite a bit.

              1. re: DoobieWah

                As I mentioned, the first batch were crazy hot. None after that were and I actually added Cholula to boost the heat a bit. But, yeah, you always have to check peppers for heat.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Wow, peppers roasted...I nibbled on one and they are much hotter than I expected. I roasted 3 thinking that wouldn't be enough but I think I only need 1 for this batch.

            2. re: fldhkybnva

              I like them on the grill but when Im too lazy to light mine up (I don't own a grill pan), I just put them on a lined baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in the oven then peel. I skip the putting them in a bag step.

              1. re: Cherylptw

                That's just what I did, roasted at 400F but I did throw them into a bag. I'm shocked they are so spicy not sure why I just had some impression they were smoky rather than spicy. How many did you use in your batch?

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I think the heat of poblanos varies more than in any other pepper. Most are not hot, but you should sample them before you integrate them into a recipe or dish. I frequently make a soup with poblanos that has always been good, except for one time when I had to serve it in small cups because the poblanos were nuclear.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Have a plant outside and they have been relatively mild. Picked a little multicolored one off the plant and took a bite. Hotter than a serrano. I was breathing fire!

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Scuba, you know to beware the color change! It's getting late in the season for home grown rellenos.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        This was a couple of months ago and you're right but they have been so mild

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Do they freeze well?

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Roasted poblanos freeze well, but not for rellenos. Peel, de-stem, and de-seed them, freeze them in portions in Zip-Lock bags and you are good to go.
                            For rellenos you want fresh, with a little garden crisp flavor and texture, not over-roasted.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              They've already been chopped so I guess I can freeze them in small portions. Thanks.

                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                    A couple large ones...to but to be fair; I knew they have a kick but to me they're not hot just a bit spicy. I thought you knew....tomorrow I'm spreading it on a homemade pizza with chicken; it's going to be good....

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      Hmm, so I just took another taste. I must have bit into a stray seed earlier, now it reminds me of a green pepper without the bitter back bite.

                2. re: fldhkybnva

                  If you have a gas stove you can roast them right on a bare burner. I usually line the burner with foil to keep the stove clean.

                3. re: Cherylptw

                  Roasted poblanos with carmelized onions sounds delicious. I make a relatively traditional pimento cheese with orange sharp cheddar, monterey jack, grated onion, good mayo but instead of jarred pimentos I use jarred piquillo peppers. The flavor is so much deeper than pimentos. Love it as a spread, with celery, and for grilled cheese sandwiches with sourdough or other good white country style bread.

                4. What a good idea. I've been wanting to experiment with those smoked chiles in adobo sauce which I've just grown to adore. I wonder if a little of that pepper would be a good addition. I think the sauce would darken the product though.

                  I make my pimiento cheese the old school way, with yellow and cream cheese, and mayo. But I've often thought that chopped green olives would be a great addition as well. I would add the olives and (real) bacon bits and maybe a bit of smoked paprika.

                  But a version with the smoked peppers might be good too.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    sue, I went 'huh' when I read the cream cheese but in googling I see that can be a regional variation.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I use Duke's, sharp cheddar and roasted red peppers. Nothing else.
                      I guess it's because I only make pimento cheese a couple times a year... and it's perfect as it is.. I can't bring myself to mess with it.

                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                        That was my formula for a long time, and I only made sandwiches with it. More recently I began adding a bit of cayenne and use it as a dip. Very popular with friends, and now I'm looking for ways to make it even better.

                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                          I think I'm probably like you but I do add a spicy powder, i.e., chipotle. But, yeah, why mess with perfection? :)

                        2. re: c oliver

                          I had the same reaction, but pretty much anything is a candidate for the addition of cream cheese in my book.

                          1. re: shanagain

                            We only use cream cheese on bagels.

                          2. re: c oliver

                            I learned to make cream cheese from a newspaper recipe I found back in the 1970s. I am sure it specified part cream cheese and part yellow. I believe the recipe was one of those "stretch your food dollars" recipes. I couldn't say if it is a regional variation, or perhaps yours is the regional variation. I only ate pimiento cheese as a child from the little Kraft jars from the grocer.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              Oh, I think BOTH are probably regional variations. I grew up in Atlanta but Mother was from South Georgia.

                          3. re: sueatmo

                            Is that still called pimento cheese? That is what I call a cheese ball. Or is it still pimento cheese if you don't shape it into a ball?

                          4. I have long made my liquid base with a sweet mayo like Kewpie or Miracle Whip not because I like offending everyone, but because it balances the heat in the Sriracha, grated raw onion and Worcestershire sauce that give my cheese some kick. Toss with grated medium cheddar, diced roasted red peppers, chopped scallions. And always, if my roasted peppers are lacking, I'll dust the cheese with smoked paprika to give it an edge.

                            1. I've never even heard of pimento cheese until some years ago on these boards and I still have yet to try it! I think I'll have to make it sometime soon now.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: iheartcooking

                                I just recently tried it for the first time several days ago and it's great. I am not the biggest mayo fan so I made two batches, one with yogurt and I loved that so I guess the concept is great even if not made traditionally. My guests loved both versions.

                                1. re: iheartcooking

                                  It's a southern thing

                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                    It's so funny that the most ordinary foods suddenly become so cool/trendy. How it happened with PC is just beyond me. Growing up it was just something that made it into the regular rotation for sandwiches to take to school.

                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                      It's a Filipino thing as well, usually called "cheese pimiento" over there. I imagine American GIs brought a taste for the spread to the islands along with their corned beef and Spam.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        I'd read that. The Filipinos obviously know a good thing or two when they taste them :)

                                  2. I recently made my first batch of Pimento cheese and I don't have much reference, but it was different than what I've read is traditional and seriously addicting. I used 1/2 smoked Gouda and 1/2 Red Leicester, red onion, mix of pimentos and roasted red peppers, jalapenos and finished with chipotle powder. It was pretty spicy but so delicious. Oh I also added a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.

                                    1. My family has long been making a variant of PC using roasted green chiles.

                                      1. This summer I made a baked jalapeno (roasted, raw, and pickled) and cheese dip and really enjoyed it. Kept thinking that I need to try making warm pimento cheese. In college BF won a cooking contest by essentially making pimento cheese mac and cheese.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: viperlush

                                          Which of the jalapenos did you prefer or did you combine?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            It was combined

                                        2. I've never had Pimento cheese but I wonder if some horseradish in there might be tasty?

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                            Why not? I find few things that horseradish doesn't contribute positively to :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              CO

                                              Have you ever put horseradish in Tuna Salad??

                                              DT

                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                I rarely make tuna salad but will try it next time. I'm thinking about going on a little adventure with the stuff :)

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I would imagine it would work in Chicken Salad as well.

                                                  DT

                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                    Definitely with chicken! I do think I'm just going to start adding it here and there. Maybe scrambled eggs :)

                                          2. Just made a batch today. A blend of Cabot 3 yr old white, Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp yellow, and Kirkland Lake County white. Blended with Duke's mayo, a little cream cheese, roasted multicolor mini peppers, Tabasco, hot Spanish paprika, onion powder and a little pickling liquid from some picked jalapenos.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                              Nice, scuba. Sandwiches or dip or both?

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Last week I spread it on chicken with a sliced tomato, ham and bacon and it was delicious - a low carb grilled cheese if you will.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Both. Did some dipping then spread on soft pita for an open face delight

                                              2. btw how long does it usually keep in the fridge?

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Why wouldn't it keep as long as any of the individual ingredients? I'd think til the cheese molds :)

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    And with a little acid that will take a long time

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Just a question. I've wondered the same thing with compound butters or salad dressings which are described as "will last up to a week" as to why not longer so I thought I'd ask.

                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      In my house....about two days.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Not to worry! Whether home made or store bought, if its any good at all you'll be regretting that its all gone long before you have to give a thought to shelf life.

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          True, I told myself that last week was a nice foray into Pimento cheese and now I just made another batch for this weekend. It's so easy and great for us around here as I'm always looking for a way to season chicken breast especially as we're crazy busy it's made for some great meals.

                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          In my experience it's lasts a day or two. No more.

                                                          If you get my drift

                                                          DT

                                                        3. Sometimes I'll add a little Dijon mustard.

                                                          Usually, I'll add some fresh chopped jalapenos.

                                                          And then try it on a burger. So good.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: DoobieWah

                                                            I always add a little dry mustard to mine.

                                                            1. re: shanagain

                                                              Colman's?

                                                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                Yep!

                                                                1. re: shanagain

                                                                  Good stuff. I used some in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar marinade for my tuna steaks just last night.

                                                                  1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                    I love it too and use it in all sorts of random ways.. none of which I can even think of right now. But frequently if something just "needs something" I use it as a flavor kickstarter.

                                                                  2. re: shanagain

                                                                    How much dry mustard? Just a pinch?

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      Basically I use it as I'd use white pepper, or even black pepper, I suppose.

                                                              2. re: DoobieWah

                                                                Mustard always makes cheese better. Will try it.

                                                              3. I try very hard to keep it out of the house because it is a seduction that is very hard to resist. Fortunately for my taste buds, I have poor resistance. Not so good for the bathroom scales! One of the more mundane old fashioned ways I love the stuff is in a salad composee. A crisp leaf of the lettuce of your choice, but not romaine. A pair of chilled canned (yes, canned! ) pear halves, then fill those cavities with a mound of pimento cheese with a sprinkling of paprika for color and maybe a few shreds of really great sharp cheddar if you have some. That's it! Well, maybe a couple of long skinny breadsticks... Okay. Where did I put my shopping list?

                                                                1. Roasted New Mexican green chiles (the real ones, preferably the ones you can buy frozen online), 4 year old Vermont cheddar, roasted garlic put through the garlic press (not too much), minced green olives, 1/2 mayo, 1/2 creme fraiche

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: carbonaraboy

                                                                    Yum! except for the olives....

                                                                  2. I just made a batch with a local cheddar flavored with ginger, garlic and paprika. It was a great choice.

                                                                    While not traditional, are there other veggies you include besides peppers? Not technically pimento cheese, but you'd think something like this with tomatoes would be great.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      I think any flavors that pair well with cheese can be made into a spread. While not traditional pimento cheese, it'll still be good. Interesting the cheddar & ginger...I would not have imagined those together....

                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                        Me neither but it's quite good, it's called Vampire Slayer and is from PA

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Oh, so the cheese was already flavored with the ginger? I'll have to look that up...interesting....

                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                            Yup, ginger was not my first idea. To be honest I don't taste much ginger, here's a link http://www.calkinscreamery.biz/Produc...

                                                                    2. Mrs. Sippi saw something on line a couple months back that I have yet to try. I didn't look at the recipe but I think the title makes it pretty straight forward.

                                                                      Rotel Pimento Cheese.

                                                                      I plan on draining a can of Rotel and just using it instead of pimentos.

                                                                      DT