I've been noticing pimento cheese on a lot of menus especially since there seems to be a bubble of progressive southern restaurants opening. I'm not sure it's strictly a southern thing, though. Seeing my favorite southern chef Martha Hall Foose the other week and having that orgasmic Grilled Ham and Pimento Cheese the week after, I figured it was time to talk about the Proper Pimento Cheese. This is what I would consider a staple for my frig. You can make a quick sandwich for lunch, have it with crackers for the kids for after school, or dish it up with drinks for the cocktail hour. I really don't like a pimento cheese that's too creamy and gloopy. I like for it to be cool and creamy on the front end but then have a heat that slowly develops but doesn't knock your socks off. This is suppose to be comforting. Can you tell I take my pimento cheese pretty seriously?
My favorite recipe has to be (duh!) Martha's from her cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea but I do make some changes.
It starts with making the mayonnaise. Don't panic!! I make mayonnaise all the time and I don't have any more time than you do. All you have to do is find the method that works best for you. I personally don't like to use any equipment. I haven't been able to get the proper consistency with anything other than the tag-team method. It takes two people but it's all about bringing the family together, right?
Tip: I use local eggs and make sure they are at room temperature.
Whisk the eggs and flavorings all together then get ready for the fun part.
While one person is whisking, the other one slowing pours in the oil. When the whisker gets tired you switch. Keep doing this until all two cups of oil are incorporated and you have a thick mayo.
Homemade Mayonnaise recipe from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, Martha Hall Foose
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of Cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable oil
Now that you have your mayo, you can make the cheese.
Even though I don't like to use power tools for the mayo, I do indorse the food processor for the cheese. That is, unless you have some idol children hanging around that can use a box grater.
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sage, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add the two cheeses and pimientos.
Mix it up good and season with salt, pepper, and my secret ingredient.
About 1-2 teaspoons from a very well loved bottle of sriracha.
Keep it in the frig until you are ready to serve it.
Pimiento Cheese adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, Martha Hall Foose
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces Colby cheese, grated
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimientos, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
I guarantee that once you make this you will never go back to store bought.