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judiu

Pimento Cheese

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I've never pictured myself as much of a cheese "affineur" until the subject of pimento cheese comes up.   Then somehow the obsessive/compulsive stirs up in me.

 

The Kroger Stores in my area used to carry a store brand of the product that I became rather fond of,  but they seem to have quit carrying it in their inventory in the  last year.   So I'm ever in search of recipes to try for this dish.  Someday I'll perfect my own and of course share it with everyone here. 

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I combine NY State Extra Sharp White Cheddar with just enough mayo to get the right consistency when mashed at room temp with a fork... bottled pimiento or red pepper is chopped and stirred-in. And maybe two dashes of Worcestershire.

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I'll have to try the Horseradish.   I've seen the Jalapeno pimento cheese spread in the stores.  Regarding horseradish, I have about 17 horseradish plants out in the wild that I planted from small cuttings.     I wouldn't want it getting lose in my yard as is spreads and is quite difficult to contain or get rid of.   So I establish my plants along the back country roads where it has good soil, proper sunlight and water with drainage. 

 

A few years back (2011 perhaps) "The Herbalist" magazine celebrated horseradish as their years pick for that year.   If I remember they referred to it as one of the most underestimated herbs.  

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The best Pimento Cheese we've ever found is Palmetto pimento cheese made in South Carolina. Fortunately both Walmart and Kroger are clearing here in Louisville Kentucky. They have 3 varieties, regular, bacon and jalapeno. We definitely prefer the regular. It's got just the right amount of kick to it without being overpowering.

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3 hours ago, MSRadell said:

The best Pimento Cheese we've ever found is Palmetto pimento cheese made in South Carolina. Fortunately both Walmart and Kroger are clearing here in Louisville Kentucky. They have 3 varieties, regular, bacon and jalapeno. We definitely prefer the regular. It's got just the right amount of kick to it without being overpowering.

I love this stuff, but can't eat a lot of it - even the mild is too spicy for me.

 

The best pimento cheese I've ever tasted is a recipe from @racheld, who doesn't come here much anymore (:(), mom of @caroled. who thankfully does!  Rachel's Paminna Cheese.

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At our niece and nephew's shop (Pop + Dutch) in Provincetown (now closed for the season), they sell a house made pimento cheese. And they were happy to offer the recipe here:

 

So, this is a gigantic proportion, but:

5 lbs. sharp yellow cheddar, shredded in the food pro
2lbs. roasted red peppers, diced
3.5 cups mayo
½ Tbsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. Tabasco

 

I'm pretty sure the mayo is Duke's, too.


Edited by weinoo (log)
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11 hours ago, weinoo said:

At our niece and nephew's shop (Pop + Dutch) in Provincetown (now closed for the season), they sell a house made pimento cheese. And they were happy to offer the recipe here:

 

So, this is a gigantic proportion, but:

5 lbs. sharp yellow cheddar, shredded in the food pro
2lbs. roasted red peppers, diced
3.5 cups mayo
½ Tbsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. Tabasco

 

I'm pretty sure the mayo is Duke's, too.

 

Pretty much how I've made mine at home and the mayo was Duke's

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I confess I had forgotten all about Pimento cheese until I recently ran across a picture from @Shelby who was having a sandwich of it for breakfast on one of those blogs.  Suddenly I wanted a pimento cheese sandwich, bad.

 

And then this thread. 

 

And finally, I just came back from Vermont, where the cheddar is EXCELLENT.  

 

It's gonna be a weekend of pimento cheese trials, that's for sure.  


Edited by SLB (log)
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Thanks again for the recipe Weinoo.  Much appreciated !

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On 1/10/2018 at 8:42 AM, weinoo said:

At our niece and nephew's shop (Pop + Dutch) in Provincetown (now closed for the season), they sell a house made pimento cheese. And they were happy to offer the recipe here:

 

So, this is a gigantic proportion, but:

5 lbs. sharp yellow cheddar, shredded in the food pro
2lbs. roasted red peppers, diced
3.5 cups mayo
½ Tbsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. Tabasco

 

I'm pretty sure the mayo is Duke's, too.

 

 

Close to my basic recipe. Lacks the dab of sugar, and the splash of cider vinegar.

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The experiments continue, and will probably continue more often than once a year. This time I made Food Shark's Pimiento Cheese, more or less. There were liberties taken. Actually, as I review the recipe there were many liberties taken. Their recipe calls for Havarti as the second cheese; I had American. (Note to new readers of this topic: it really does work well to freeze the cheese before grating it.) I used dried herbs instead of fresh, because that's what I had. I assumed, apparently mistakenly, that the recipe should have called for pimientos in addition to the roasted red peppers, so I added both. I had no horseradish. I don't remember what I did about that.

 

20180407_130527.jpg

 

The upshot is that I probably made something suitable for the Journal of Irreproducible Results, which is too bad because we both liked it. I'll be trying again. Gracious, there are so many versions to test!

 

20180412_093307-1.jpg

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Put some of it on the next burger you grill. Or make a grilled cheese with it -- with crispy bacon and fried green tomatoes.

 

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There are many thrills to be had with southern cooking. I grew up in NY and now live in CA but am a devotee of Duke's mayo, stoneground grits, shrimp n grits, jambalaya, greens cooked in ham stock, fried green tomatoes, pan fried apples and red beans and rice. But spare me Paula Deen and spare me pimento cheese. I've eaten it a few times when traveling in the south and can't for the life of me understand the appeal. It could be lowbrow or artisanal and it wouldn't make any difference to me--it's a horrid concept. If I want to spread cheese on a cracker or a baguette, please let it be soft ripened brie or chèvre or Le Tur, or brebis.....

 

There, I'm sorry. Ignore me and have a great day!

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

spare me pimento cheese. I've eaten it a few times when traveling in the south and can't for the life of me understand the appeal. It could be lowbrow or artisanal and it wouldn't make any difference to me--it's a horrid concept. If I want to spread cheese on a cracker or a baguette, please let it be soft ripened brie or chèvre or Le Tur, or brebis.....


We can't spare you because we didn't actually ask you to eat it or try to serve it to you. :D But not liking pimento cheese doesn't require an apology, there are lots of popular things that I don't like and I don't apologize for any of them. I don't think pimento cheese was ever meant to compete with those other cheeses you mentioned, it's a thing of it's own. Your cheese list is the princess at the ball, pimento cheese is the girl in jeans and boots at the hoedown... both can be good.

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Katie,  it may be interesting to know that Pimento Cheese may have had it's origins in New York.  It moved south from there.

But dairy farmers there were developing early soft cheeses that evolved into today's "Cream Cheese".    In around the same time southern vegetable farmers in "Georgia" were experimenting with cultivars of red bell peppers & pimentos and made huge gains in production, canning and transporting these products more affordably than ever.  The fusion of the two products may have been the historic origins of pimento cheese.   In the earlier 20th century two world wars led to using pimento cheese as a staple

and it's popularity continued to grow.  

 

Even if you don't care for it it may be worth understanding why the longevity of this thread.

 

From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese

 

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As I live only a few miles from the eastern Kentucky border I'd mention this variant of Pimento Cheese for those who would

like to know of this regional favorite.  "Kentucky Snappy (beer) Cheese".   I first tried this as a kid when my neighborhood's Pharmacist had his Mom in from Kentucky for a visit.  He raved over his Mom's "Snappy cheese" and as the young foodie I was then I wanted to try it.  She asked my Mom if I could have some of it and she went along with the request to allow me a sample.

 

I've seen this recipe with and without pimentos in it.

 

I just wanted to mention this for those who may have never heard of it so they could be enlightened.

 

"Kentucky Snappy Cheese"

 

2 pounds good quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese (don't buy that already grated stuff)
2 cloves garlic, minced (roasted or regular)
1 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-12 ounce bottle lager beer, room temperature (regular beer works fine, not lite)

Grind together the cheese and garlic in a blender or food processor. Mix in all other ingredients, except beer. Add in beer starting with only half the bottle, add more a little at a time until the mixture is at a good spreading consistence. You may not need all the beer.

Put the Beer Cheese into small crocks or glass containers and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to serve.

Some folks like this on crackers or party rye bread. Everyone I know swears by celery, radish or carrot sticks, with an appropriate beverage of course.

 

Here are some recipe ideas from a small restaurant that specializes in this: 

 

Allman's

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On 4/18/2018 at 8:48 PM, ChefPip said:

Katie,  it may be interesting to know that Pimento Cheese may have had it's origins in New York.  It moved south from there.

But dairy farmers there were developing early soft cheeses that evolved into today's "Cream Cheese".    In around the same time southern vegetable farmers in "Georgia" were experimenting with cultivars of red bell peppers & pimentos and made huge gains in production, canning and transporting these products more affordably than ever.  The fusion of the two products may have been the historic origins of pimento cheese.   In the earlier 20th century two world wars led to using pimento cheese as a staple

and it's popularity continued to grow.  

 

Even if you don't care for it it may be worth understanding why the longevity of this thread.

 

From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese

 

Crashing silence from all the Southern eG'ers, who are too polite to argue with you.  ;) :D

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LOL,  Kim,

 

And here I thought I'd catch it for the variant made with beer instead of Dukes or Blue Plate.  Ahhh but the day ain't over yet.

O.o getting ready to high tail it to the Mason Dixon now.

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11 hours ago, ChefPip said:

As I live only a few miles from the eastern Kentucky border I'd mention this variant of Pimento Cheese for those who would

like to know of this regional favorite.  "Kentucky Snappy (beer) Cheese".   I first tried this as a kid when my neighborhood's Pharmacist had his Mom in from Kentucky for a visit.  He raved over his Mom's "Snappy cheese" and as the young foodie I was then I wanted to try it.  She asked my Mom if I could have some of it and she went along with the request to allow me a sample.

 

I've seen this recipe with and without pimentos in it.

 

I just wanted to mention this for those who may have never heard of it so they could be enlightened.

 

"Kentucky Snappy Cheese"

 

2 pounds good quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese (don't buy that already grated stuff)
2 cloves garlic, minced (roasted or regular)
1 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-12 ounce bottle lager beer, room temperature (regular beer works fine, not lite)

Grind together the cheese and garlic in a blender or food processor. Mix in all other ingredients, except beer. Add in beer starting with only half the bottle, add more a little at a time until the mixture is at a good spreading consistence. You may not need all the beer.

Put the Beer Cheese into small crocks or glass containers and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to serve.

Some folks like this on crackers or party rye bread. Everyone I know swears by celery, radish or carrot sticks, with an appropriate beverage of course.

 

Here are some recipe ideas from a small restaurant that specializes in this: 

 

Allman's

I've had this since moving here a few years ago. It's always been called beer cheese. Pretty awesome on a patio in the Spring (if Spring ever gets here) and a few beers.  I've never heard of it called Kentucky Snappy Cheese. 

 

I'll have to ask some of the long time residents. 

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Mike,   Mrs Dozier who made that first batch I ever sampled from,   would have been an old time Kentuckian.   I only heard her speak of it as "Snappy Cheese".   This may stem from one or two reasons:  1) She would have grown up in the shadow of Prohibition, Women's Suffrage,  and possibly the influence of the Church and as such would have shunned speaking openly of using beer in her cuisine as "good women of that time"  here in the Bible Belt would have known to be that discrete.   2) With a list of ingredients including a couple cloves of garlic,  1 tsp dry mustard,  1 tsp of Tabasco,  and 1/4 tsp of cayenne....yeah  "snap",  bug eyes, and bat eyelashes.   But still,  it' s hard to quit eating it.    Sort of like what Pork Rinds with Ro-tel & Velveta does to ya.   (or Buffalo Wings or bacon wrapped jalapeno ATB's for that matter) 

 

I think this stuff was all invented as Bar Food to promote the voluminous sales of ice cold beer. 

 

As for my own preference,  I like  snappy cheese on Ritz Crackers.  Either with cold beer or southern style ice tea.

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Thanks. I've had it served with a raw veggie tray and pretzels.  Ritz sounds like it would work just fine. 

 

Southern style iced tea is waaaayyyyy too sweet for me. You could put that stuff on pancakes. I have to specify unsweet. 

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9 hours ago, ChefPip said:

LOL,  Kim,

 

And here I thought I'd catch it for the variant made with beer instead of Dukes or Blue Plate.  Ahhh but the day ain't over yet.

O.o getting ready to high tail it to the Mason Dixon now.

 

Duke's or Blue Plate, my hind foot. Hellman's (the original; don't be bringing no "light" stuff up in here, now) or homemade, please.

 

Good on anything, but best on grocery store white bread. Toasted, if it's not impeccably fresh.

 

With a bread and butter pickle spear and a glass of cold milk.

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For the longest time I searched the internet for "Snappy Cheese" and kept getting returns for "Beer Cheese".   I finally decided to

proof a few of those recipes and they produced a very similar cheese spread/dip.   

 

My hunting for an Iced tea that I can live with now has me making the old Southern Style with the sugar throttled back about

one half.   But my pursuit of a good Iced Tea has to be next to my quest for the best pimento cheese. 

 

I'm going to turn in early tonight cause in twelve hours one of the Kentucky Agriculture Extensions will be giving away sapling trees.  I want to get some of those Kentucky Coffee Bean Trees they will be giving away if I can.  During the "war atwix the states"  the southern folks would harvest the pods that grew on these trees and roast & grind the beans to make a form of coffee they could enjoy. The north had coffee among most other things  embargoed in those times.   So I want to propagate some of those beans and try making some of that form of coffee. 

 

Kentucky Coffee Bean Tree

 

Bean Pod

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3 minutes ago, ChefPip said:

For the longest time I searched the internet for "Snappy Cheese" and kept getting returns for "Beer Cheese".   I finally decided to

proof a few of those recipes and they produced a very similar cheese spread/dip.   

 

My hunting for an Iced tea that I can live with now has me making the old Southern Style with the sugar throttled back about

one half.   But my pursuit of a good Iced Tea has to be next to my quest for the best pimento cheese. 

 

I'm going to turn in early tonight cause in twelve hours one of the Kentucky Agriculture Extensions will be giving away sapling trees.  I want to get some of those Kentucky Coffee Bean Trees they will be giving away if I can.  During the "war atwix the states"  the southern folks would harvest the pods that grew on these trees and roast & grind the beans to make a form of coffee they could enjoy. The north had coffee among most other things  embargoed in those times.   So I want to propagate some of those beans and try making some of that form of coffee. 

 

Kentucky Coffee Bean Tree

 

Bean Pod

 

We have several coffee trees. They get really big ...don't put them too close to the house. Beautiful trees. 

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