HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Turning pimento cheese into pimento mac and cheese?

I made a big container of pimento cheese last Sunday night. There is no way the bf and I can eat it all (about 2 cups). Is there a way that I can make mac and cheese with it? It's a mixture of cream cheese, mayo, cheddar, and pimento.

Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I think it will be great! I might add some veggies to the mac and cheese to temper the richness a bit. Maybe some sweet peppers, poblanos, roasted cherry tomatoes, corn, spinach, kale, or scallions?

    If you are using vegetables, roast or saute them. Boil the macaroni to al dente and toss the noodles, veg, and pimento cheese in a bowl. Thin with a little milk so the mixture is saucy, not solid. Pour in a baking dish and top with panko or crushed crackers if that's your jam. I usually don't top with anything. Bake until golden on top.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jennymoon

      Thanks. Usually I make sauce, add spinach, toss with pasta and bake. Just didn't know if I should still make the bechamel and melt in the pimento cheese, melt with a little milk, or just mix it in the hot pasta and bake until melted.

      1. re: viperlush

        I haven't tried this before either, but I wouldn't make the bechamel. The cream cheese plus milk combo will be thick enough and the mayo will keep the sauce smooth.

        I would probably just mix with the hot pasta and trust that any remaining solid cheese will melt in the oven. But I can be a little lazy. :) I think it would probably be better to melt it with milk.

        If you are nervous about this, another idea is to melt some pimento cheese into grits.

        1. re: jennymoon

          Yes. You have the sauce right there; it just needs to melt into the pasta, so simply drain the macaroni and stir it and the cheese together, then put it into a baking dish and run it through a 350º oven for about fifteen-twenty minutes. Topping it with slices of Roma tomato would be good too.

          I've never had any problem getting rid of pimento cheese in this house, even if it's just the two of us … and do not believe for one minute those cautions about "Will keep refrigerated for about one week." That is total hooey. One of the reasons it's so popular for picnics in the South is that it can sit out all day without going bad or growing anything, and while it's not quite immortal in the fridge (especially if you've gone and put cream cheese in it) it'll be okay for two weeks if not three. And chances are good that the only deterioration might be a spot of fuzzy mold, which can just be scraped off unless it's the red or orange kind.

          Oh, it makes KILLER grilled cheese sandwiches too!

          1. re: Will Owen

            Now GRILLED CHEESE sounds VERY interesting!! Think I just might make some PC just to try this out!

            1. re: kseiverd

              As many times as I've tried, I can't get into pimento cheese burgers but a pimento grilled cheese sandwich is a true thing of beauty. They are best eaten at a small lunch counter, preferably in a drug store. Squishy white bread is a must.

    2. I saved a recipe for this but I can't find it grr
      but here's a link that might inspire
      http://www.pinterest.com/recipes/sala...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Berheenia

        I found the recipe- it was one in this month's COTM and it got several meh ratings so I've decided not to make it. Still would make a pimento cheese mac recipe if it was a Yay.

      2. There's a local Hot Chicken restaurant here that makes it. It's pretty good for a change and they keep it really simple, it's just normal baked mac and cheese with pimento cheese added in to make the sauce.

        1. See Five ways to use Pimento cheese at the bottom of the recipe.

          http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...

          ... and yes, there is a recipe for mac & cheese.

          1. I think pimento mac and cheese sounds really good. Since your pimento cheese has cream cheese and mayo in it, it should melt smoothly in a little milk. Heat up 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk until just simmering, add the pimento cheese and stir until it's melted. Add more milk to get the desired consistency. Mix with the pasta and bake, with or without a topping of some kind. I would probably add some grated cheese on top.

            1. Add sodium citrate and iota carrageenan to make your cheese melt correctly.

              Also, how do you make pimento cheese? Never made it before.

              15 Replies
              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                EFGM, the traditional Southern recipe for pimento cheese is made of shredded sharp cheddar, mayonnaise (Duke's in the South) and pimentos. I use roasted red peppers in mine instead of diced pimentos, but that's the only thing I change. It often has cream cheese in it, as well, as the OP has indicated.
                It wouldn't need the sodium citrate, at all - this is already a very creamy cheese spread.

                1. re: kitchengardengal

                  Oh wow that sounds awesome. I've never seen dukes up here but I'll use kewpie.

                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                    You CAN order online [except for when I was in China]
                    http://www.dukesmayo.com/shopping-car...

                    Duke's has no sugar, many other mayos do.
                    Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor

                    For instance:
                    Hellmann's ® Real Mayonnaise:
                    CANOLA OIL, WATER, LIQUID WHOLE EGG, VINEGAR, SALT, LIQUID YOLK, SUGAR, SPICES, CONCENTRATED LEMON JUICE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA.

                    Kris now in DC/NoVA

                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      Oh interesting. I didn't really notice that about the mayos. I don't use much mayo so all I keep on hand is some Kewpie. I'll see what I can find locally.
                      So I basically just mix the stuff up thoroughly, let it sit overnight, then go to town on it?
                      I'm putting some on a burger as soon as it's done.
                      Thanks kgg and Kris.

                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                        You have the idea!
                        Just shred a half pound of cheddar, add about 1/4 cup finely diced roasted red peppers (not marinated in vinegar) and 1/2 cup or so of mayo. Stir it up good, and if it's too stiff, add more mayo. It may need a bit to loosen it up the next day, too.

                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                          I'm stoked to try this, it is a southern thing right? The only pimento products I see in Seattle are those little jars of diced pimentos, and this kinda mediocre looking pimento cheese spread.

                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                            You can roast, peel, seed and chop red bell pepper yourself if you can't find it in the jar; you can also use roasted jalapeno or other hot pepper for pimento cheese with a kick. If you like heat, you'll become addicted to this.

                            1. re: Cherylptw

                              I'll probably end up roasting a ton of peppers for various uses and using some of them for the cheese. I'll definitely try with all sorts of peppers too, we usually have a good variety at the local stores.

                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                I have to use the diced pimentos because you can barely taste them; Mrs. O is dramatically averse to the flavor of sweet peppers, though the hot ones (even just the hottish ones) are okay by her. For some reason the barely-there flavor of jarred pimentos just makes it right for her. No other preparation containing pimentos does, odd though it might be.

                              2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                That's why I use roasted red peppers instead of pimentoes. Much better flavor.
                                Yes, it is an old Southern thing, but my grandma used to get it at the deli at Lazarus Dept Store in Columbus Ohio, when I was growing up there in the 60s.

                        2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          I'd suggest Hellman's, if you have any. Kewpie is a little, I don't know, sweet, maybe? Or not vinegary enough... something just is a little off if you use Kewpie in pimento cheese.
                          Also, you've got to let it sit at least half a day, or overnight before you eat it. The flavors have to meld. Big difference the next day.
                          The traditional way to eat pimento cheese is on soft white bread or on crackers.

                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                            Pimiento cheese is a southern thing and I am a northerner who had never eaten it so I figured out this way of making it which personally I like: apologies if it's not authentic: In Cuisinart, 8-10 ounces of extra-sharp Cheddar, about 4 oz cream cheese, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1 tsp Coleman's mustard powder, processed utterly. Then add 1/2-1 cup canned (jar) red pimiento peppers and just pulse the machine on and off until they are as incorporated as you like. Taste and correct seasoning---should be a bit nippy.

                            1. re: Querencia

                              Here in the South, the cheese is shredded and mixed by hand with the other ingredients, but not processed to a smooth paste. I do use the processor to shred the cheese, though, as it makes thicker shreds than the box grater does.

                              1. re: kitchengardengal

                                I want to split the difference between beaten to a paste and discrete shreds, so last batch I made was with Trader Joe's shredded sharp cheddar – very fine shreds – but beaten by hand with my favorite wooden spoon.

                                I keep forgetting to mention that this is my favorite substance for stuffing celery stalks.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  I have been known to buy a bag of the finely shredded sharp cheddar and a bag of the regular shredded and use a mixer to blend it all. The finely shredded becomes one with the mayo and the regular shredded gives the texture I want. Now, I want pimiento cheese. The problem is that I can never make a small batch and neither of us need that much temptation.

                      2. I would use Alton Brown's stove top recipe and use your cheese mix. It sounds delicious.

                        1. I'd make thick sandwiches and freeze them.
                          Hot pimiento cheese, except on a grilled dog, doesn't appeal to me.

                          OTish: 2C of home made pimiento cheese would barely last day in my house, and we are just K and TeenHound.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Kris in Beijing

                            I agree KrisinB, pimento cheese wouldn't last long enough in our house to make it into anything but a white bread sandwich.
                            I think we're about due for a batch of that stuff soon. Funny how I can taste it just thinking about it!

                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                              I've been known to "stretch" the last 2TBSP by adding cottage cheese.

                          2. I know this isn't mac & cheese but pimento cheese with crispy bacon and a slice of tomato is delicious grilled, especially on sourdough or potato bread.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Cherylptw

                              Make that green tomato and I'm coming over to your house, ASAP!

                            2. I love inviting people for Sunday afternoon tea because it's less work than dinner and everybody gets home early on a work and school night. Small hot baking powder biscuits with a variety of spreads goes well, and pimiento cheese makes a lovely one of those spreads, along with chicken salad or ham salad, lemon curd, and a couple of jams.