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Pimento Cheese

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Ok , so I'm comitted to Pimento Cheese fo a Halloween party; what's the difference between roasted peeled red peppers and diced pimento that has the skin left on? Skin on peppers irritate my tummy, but have no problem with the roasted peeled version. Can I substitute one for the other as is, or do I need to touch up the seasoning or what? HELP, please! TIA!

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Any southerners going to be there? If not you can get away with anything.

I think Alton Brown has a good recipe.

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Make it with the roasted peppers and tell them it's a new take on your Auntie Sarah's pimento cheese. The one she's going to put in the church cookbook.

It works every time.

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FWIW I make it with yellow cheddar extra sharp cut with enough mayo to get the texture you want...diced store bought jar pimientos or red peppers...a bit of horseradish. Have the cheese chopped up at room temp and use a fork to homogenize everything. Peppers go in last, after it's all mixed and the right texture. It is a little chunky when served. Texture isn't that of cheezWhiz.

But I'm a Yankee. What do I know?

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Thanks, you guys! No "southerners" per se, just a lot of south Floridians, who probably wouldn't know the difference anyway!

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They probably buy the store bought stuff, so you're ahead of the game.

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As someone who's lived in the south for 45 years -- which, I should warn you, anyone actually born here will tell you does not qualify me as a southerner -- I not only see no problem with peeled peppers, I think it makes for a better product. Rather than gfweb's horseradish, I'd provide heat with cayenne or pepper sauce. Here's an excellent recipe from a genuine native: Linton Hopkins' Pimiento Cheese. (In this case, using jarred roasted peppers is a very acceptable substitute for home roasting.)

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I though the cheese was made with piquillo peppers?

I was going to make some this weekend too for a patty melt diiner I wanted to do..

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In that fabulous "how to" book about the way to throw a proper Southern funeral, "Being Dead is No Excuse," there are several recipes for pimento cheese, "the paste that holds the South together."

My book happens currently to be packed up, but here is a link to a discussion about it, complete with recipes:

community.tasteofhome.com/community_forums/f/30/p/639505/5372463.aspx

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Ohhhhhh I LOVE pimento cheese. You've reminded me that I should make some....

I use a recipe from the cookbook Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose. It's da bomb.

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I haven't had pimento cheese in many years. I've never had homemade pimento cheese. I may have to remedy that situation.

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In that fabulous "how to" book about the way to throw a proper Southern funeral, "Being Dead is No Excuse," there are several recipes for pimento cheese, "the paste that holds the South together."

My book happens currently to be packed up, but here is a link to a discussion about it, complete with recipes:

community.tasteofhome.com/community_forums/f/30/p/639505/5372463.aspx

I lost my copy of that great book in a housefire years ago. Funny, FUNNY book, but good as well!

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I grew-up in North Carolina in the sixties where my best friends mother used to feed me insipid orange spread between slices or Wonder bread. If I never saw pimento cheese again it would be too soon.........mostly mayo and red peppers from small cans bought from the grocery store.

Fast forward to the mid 80s when I was taught re-imagined low country pimento cheese by Bill Neal of Crooks fame. White Vermont cheddar, real Parm from Italy, house made mayo, charred and skinned red bells; touch of Worcestershire, cayenne, black pepper, and bourbon. Texture was stiff but still spreadable. We served it with house made crackers and raw veg. Good stuff.

I love the stuff now. Use whichever peppers you like best. If the skins get to you go with skinless. Make it tasty and everyone else will love it too.

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Pimento cheese spread on whole grain bread, toasted is a fantastic late night snack and a good I'm-feeling-sorry-for-myself snack.

You can run it under the broiler, too. Tasty!

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I have also made a spicier version of pimento cheese and the proportions are almost exactly like that in Janeer's link.

I prefer 1/2 aged cheddar, 1/4 colby and 1/4 jack.

I do use the canned pimentos but to them add 1 or more Manzano or Rocoto peppers, which are quite hot but also

sweet and taste of apples. A fruity flavor that enhances cheeses of all types.

I don't add the sage but use the dry mustard and a scant pinch of nutmeg.

I mix everything except the manzano or rocoto pepper (minced very fine) then add a bit at a time and taste until I get the perfect balance.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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I use the jarred roasted red bell peppers--I find that whole peppers have less water & more flavor than the strips/sliced or the (more traditional) diced pimento peppers. A hit of smoked paprika does wonders for 'minner cheez, too, along with two or three drops of Worcestershire sauce or Pickapeppa sauce.

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You can run it under the broiler, too. Tasty!

I'm currently living in Texas, and we recently had an amusing incident with what we call a "Yankee feller" that just moved here. He had been to enough parties here that he had become accustomed to seeing our second most-popular dip (the first being salsa): chile con queso. Or just "queso" for short.

So it's his turn to provide some snacks for the office party.

Not only was he not familiar with our queso before he got here, he knew nothing of our pimento cheese, either.

At the party, we gather around the hot dip that looks like queso. We each grab a chip and dig in.

But it was the oddest, strangest queso dip that any of us had had. I wish I could adequately explain to you how comical it was to see all of these quizzical, puzzled expressions. Yes...it was cheese...and it seemed to have some red peppers...but...but...it was just not right.

It took several minutes before we figured out that this Yankee feller had gone to the grocery store, bought a tub of pimento cheese, and heated that up, and served it as queso.

The feller that brought it said he thought it was just fine. The rest of us thought it was just weird.

Suffice it to say that none of us ever made it again.

Including the Yankee feller.

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You can run it under the broiler, too. Tasty!

I'm currently living in Texas, and we recently had an amusing incident with what we call a "Yankee feller" that just moved here. He had been to enough parties here that he had become accustomed to seeing our second most-popular dip (the first being salsa): chile con queso. Or just "queso" for short.

So it's his turn to provide some snacks for the office party.

Not only was he not familiar with our queso before he got here, he knew nothing of our pimento cheese, either.

At the party, we gather around the hot dip that looks like queso. We each grab a chip and dig in.

But it was the oddest, strangest queso dip that any of us had had. I wish I could adequately explain to you how comical it was to see all of these quizzical, puzzled expressions. Yes...it was cheese...and it seemed to have some red peppers...but...but...it was just not right.

It took several minutes before we figured out that this Yankee feller had gone to the grocery store, bought a tub of pimento cheese, and heated that up, and served it as queso.

The feller that brought it said he thought it was just fine. The rest of us thought it was just weird.

Suffice it to say that none of us ever made it again.

Including the Yankee feller.

It never would have occurred to me to melt that.....are you sure he's not on to the next big thang??? :laugh:

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You can run it under the broiler, too. Tasty!

It took several minutes before we figured out that this Yankee feller had gone to the grocery store, bought a tub of pimento cheese, and heated that up, and served it as queso.

It never would have occurred to me to melt that.....are you sure he's not on to the next big thang??? :laugh:

I know! It never would have occurred to any of us to heat up a tub of pimento cheese.

And it's not that it was exactly bad. Just odd. Really odd.

I considered the possibility that he was on to the next big thang, but it was just so strange. You should try it. A very interesting experiment.

I did think to myself that it might work better for little kids that don't like the regular "queso dip," which is much, much spicier.

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I'm guessing that pimento cheese is the Southern cousin to California's Pepper Jack - Monterey Jack with peppers finely diced and mixed in to the loaf. Most pepper jack I've had has been pretty insipid, with mild, almost flavorless peppers and weak, lowest-common-denominator Monterey Jack. Trader Joe's has a version that I use sometimes when making a cheese and spinach frittata for potlucks. It's pretty good as it contains habanero peppers.

Now, I say pretty good because, even though it's quite a bit better than the typical store bough stuff, it probably has room for improvement. Learning about the Southern pimento cheese has given me thoughts about making my own pepper jack, and how I may go about it. It never crossed my mind that people would make a "home made" version of this. So, with thoughts of pimento cheese and pepper jack dancing through my head, I'm off to explore the possibilities of a cheeky cheese with a little kick-ass bite to it.

Thanks for your Southern Hospitality ...

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I'm guessing that pimento cheese is the Southern cousin to California's Pepper Jack - Monterey Jack with peppers finely diced and mixed in to the loaf. Most pepper jack I've had has been pretty insipid, with mild, almost flavorless peppers and weak, lowest-common-denominator Monterey Jack.

Pimento cheese is a spread...soft, creamy, not chewy in the least. Not a solid hunk of cheese like the typical pepperjack. It's usually not very spicy, though some folks have a heavy hand with the cayenne. The little flecks of red roasted peppers add no heat at all.

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Oh my lord, Jaymes. That sounds positively dreadful.

I hope one of you told him "Oh my. That's different."

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