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Pimento Cheese

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Pimento cheese is a huge part of my Southern family's heritage, including its ubiquitous appearance stuffed into celery sticks on the relish tray at all holidays and other assorted fancy occasions. And, although we've tried it with every commercial mayo made, in our house, the consensus best is Duke's.

 

Which (I just feel like adding) we all know means absolutely not one blessed thing to other families that also have tried all of the commercially-made mayos and chosen something else, bless their hearts. We just think Duke's is creamier. And ain't life grand?

 


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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On the subject of the mayonnaise that we would use to make the pimento cheese with,   I've noticed at least one person in the thread mentioning their use of "home made".   Anyone else make mayo ? 

 

I've used this old Moosewood Cookbook recipe, with some adapting,  over time and experimented with Lime Juice freshly  squeezed from the fruit.  (although Apple Cider Vinegar is superior from a nutritional perspective I believe....just saying)  

 

To make a small quantity,  set up your blender,  get your oil (Olive, or other of your preference....I've used Hain Safflower) ,  spices,  dry mustard etc. set out  (ahhhh Mies En Place)

Coddle one unbroken egg by boiling about 3 cups of water and removing from heat.   Then placing the room temp egg in the water and let it sit for about one minute before removing. (crack it open and add it to the blender hot)

 

I use the egg,  3 Tb of Apple Cider Vinegar,  1/2 tsp salt,  1/2 tsp dry mustard, and 1 1/4 oil for this. 

 

Start by adding the heated egg, vinegar,  salt, dry mustard, and 2 Tb of your oil into the blender and turning it on to a brisk speed for about 15 seconds so that it is blended well.  Next, with a very steady hand

gently pour a very fine stream of the oil into the spinning egg mixture.  Be very careful not to add too much at once as your mayo may collapse.   (somewhere between 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch stream.  If you have a small funnel that has a fine opening that will deliver this thin of a stream it may be worth using it until you can pour a thin stream free handed)    As the oil & egg mixture spins,  it will  begin to turn white like mayo

toward the end when you've poured all of the oil into the blender.   Like magic !  

 

This should make about a cup and a half of fresh mayo for your Pimento Cheese.  About right for binding a couple pounds of shredded cheese and chopped pimentos together. 

 

Again,  you can experiment with the vinegar or citrus juice or a blend of both.   You may notice McCormick spices offers a Lime Mayo on store shelves today but it is a bit pricey.  But there are some appetites that enjoy these different flavor notes.   To me this is what separates salad dressing like Miracle Whip apart from Mayonnaise. 

 

So there is a thought for your next batch of pimento cheese.  

 

Oh and I picked up 4 Kentucky Coffee Trees this morning. 9_9

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On 4/21/2018 at 1:49 AM, Jaymes said:

Pimento cheese is a huge part of my Southern family's heritage, including its ubiquitous appearance stuffed into celery sticks on the relish tray at all holidays and other assorted fancy occasions. And, although we've tried it with every commercial mayo made, in our house, the consensus best is Duke's.

 

Which (I just feel like adding) we all know means absolutely not one blessed thing to other families that also have tried all of the commercially-made mayos and chosen something else, bless their hearts. We just think Duke's is creamier. And ain't life grand?

 

 

 

Sure is. Oddly, I did not grow up eating Hellman's; we were a Blue Plate or Kraft or whatever was on sale family. When I tried Duke's and Hellman's side-by-side, Hellman's just had a taste I preferred. Everyone's mileage, obviously, varies.

 

But now I have a taste for homemade mayo. Specifically, green garlic mayo. There should be green garlic at the farmers' market. If not, Chinese chives from the Asian market make an acceptable substitute. 

 

@ChefPip, I have never tried heating my egg first. Will have to try that.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Sure is. Oddly, I did not grow up eating Hellman's; we were a Blue Plate or Kraft or whatever was on sale family. When I tried Duke's and Hellman's side-by-side, Hellman's just had a taste I preferred. Everyone's mileage, obviously, varies.

 

But now I have a taste for homemade mayo. Specifically, green garlic mayo. There should be green garlic at the farmers' market. If not, Chinese chives from the Asian market make an acceptable substitute. 

 

@ChefPip, I have never tried heating my egg first. Will have to try that.

We think Duke's is creamier. But hey, like you said, that's our mileage!

 

I was really into homemade mayo a while back but not so much now that I'm a granny living alone in my bachelorette condo. And the flavors of pimento cheese are so strong that, honestly, don't really believe the mayo changes the final result all that much. Also, I primarily make it for the grandkids and not sure the palate of a six-year-old warrants going to extraordinary efforts. 

 

But thinking back to my childhood and those ubiquitous pimento cheese-stuffed celery sticks has reminded me of something amusing, at least to me. I, along with the other assorted kids at the table - siblings, cousins, friends, etc. - loved the pimento cheese, but not the celery, so we'd use our tongues to scoop the cheese out of the valley. We'd try to do this surreptitiously so as not to alert the grownups. This was much easier to do at the children's table, of course, but then we'd have the problem of what to do with all that celery. For days after big family get-togethers, our parents would find denuded celery sticks stashed all over the house. 

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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37 minutes ago, gfweb said:

@Jaymes I cannot think of a legitimate use for celery

 

Agree with both of you.

 

I will buy a bunch when I'm cooking Cajun, use two stalks, and wind up chunking the rest. 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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40 minutes ago, gfweb said:

@Jaymes I cannot think of a legitimate use for celery

Well, I do use it to flavor soups & stews. 

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

@Jaymes I cannot think of a legitimate use for celery

I cannot resist eating at least two or three stalks while I’m preparing it for something else. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 minute ago, Anna N said:

I cannot resist eating at least two or three stalks while I’m preparing it for something else. 

 

And I do like seeing a few stalks on a plate of Buffalo wings. Or in a Bloody Mary. So...

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Kayb

 

Coddling the egg in this case is a hedge against salmonella.  The room temperature egg when immersed in the boiling water for a minute will likely reach 160 + degrees Fahrenheit.  (71.11 C)   Enough to kill bacteria.   It isn't 100% perfect but it's better than not doing it.   Some hold that it changes the density of the egg white & yolk as well.  Perhaps,   but this is the beginning of hard cooking an egg.

 

The last time I went thru ServSafe we kicked around the idea of coddling a dozen eggs at a time.   Should an outbreak of salmonella arise again in this area.

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1 hour ago, Jaymes said:

 

And I do like seeing a few stalks on a plate of Buffalo wings. Or in a Bloody Mary. So...

If you've never tried the @HungryChris pickled asparagus, it's worth it for Bloody Mary inclusion alone.

 

10 minutes ago, ChefPip said:

Kayb

 

Coddling the egg in this case is a hedge against salmonella.  The room temperature egg when immersed in the boiling water for a minute will likely reach 160 + degrees Fahrenheit.  (71.11 C)   Enough to kill bacteria.   It isn't 100% perfect but it's better than not doing it.   Some hold that it changes the density of the egg white & yolk as well.  Perhaps,   but this is the beginning of hard cooking an egg.

 

The last time I went thru ServSafe we kicked around the idea of coddling a dozen eggs at a time.   Should an outbreak of salmonella arise again in this area.

 

Thanks for that info. My eggs all come from a local person who keeps chickens. Are those more or less likely than factory farmed eggs to have salmonella bacteria?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Kayb,   I'm inclined to say that there is much less risk with eggs that are produced on a small private production lot.  These chickens would most likely be free ranged and enjoy better health.

 

Today,  CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations or "Factory Farming") can lead to all kinds of opportunistic infections. The

feed for these animals may not be balanced or natural thus inhibiting their immune systems but moreover hasten their development for slaughter as soon as they are rushed thru their egg laying cycle.  Thus cutting the bird's normal life cycle

potentially in half in the rush to extract it's usefulness with the greatest industrial efficiency.   

 

Those who produce on small farming operations or engage in hobby farming may actually have a healthier/safer product.   This especially if the chickens are free ranged and fed more traditional or natural feed stock. 

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3 hours ago, gfweb said:

I cannot think of a legitimate use for celery

I wish I COULD eat it but causes a bit of a heart arythmia in me.....totally Abbey Normal ("I put an abnormal brain in a 7' monster!!!! - sorry my favorite line from one of my favorite movies).   

Was introduced to pimento cheese by a dear friend who came to NJ by way of Ohio and lives in NC.  I make it every few years and enjoy it mightily but since Johnnybird can't really partake it has to be pared down.  I prefer to use Cain's mayonnaise and a few shakes of Cholula chili lime and Worchestershire along with shredded pepper jack and aged cheddar.  Just me......

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by suzilightning I can't spell? (log)
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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I just made a batch of this pimento cheese recipe from @JAZ and @Dave the Cook's site He Cooks, She Cooks. Well actually, I made a double batch, because I wanted to use up an entire 8-oz block of cheddar. My initial assessment is that it's easier to make than the last one I tried, because it has fewer ingredients. I like the base flavor better, because (I've learned) I'm not a fan of American cheese. On the down side, I used part of a rather strong - and aging, at that - onion, and I fear it will take some work to tone it down. They do note that sweet onion gives a milder flavor, and I should have paid heed rather than trying to rescue an onion fragment from fridge storage. I'll report back when it's had time to let the flavors mingle.

 

I expect that when I'm done with this project, I will have settled on my Very Own Recipe, a hybrid of many others.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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23 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

I expect that when I'm done with this project, I will have settled on my Very Own Recipe, a hybrid of many others.

 

That's the way it tends to work. Which is why there are so very many variations. And everyone is convinced their own is the best.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

 

And everyone is convinced their own is the best.

 


Not me. I like pimento cheese and prefer it somewhere in the ballpark of what's generally thought of as the traditional flavor profile but I'm not so in love with it that I worry about putting much effort into developing my own recipe. If somebody is willing to make it for me then, at least at that moment, theirs is better than mine... because I didn't have to make it. :D

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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On 4/22/2018 at 6:23 PM, Smithy said:

I just made a batch of this pimento cheese recipe from @JAZ and @Dave the Cook's site He Cooks, She Cooks. Well actually, I made a double batch, because I wanted to use up an entire 8-oz block of cheddar. My initial assessment is that it's easier to make than the last one I tried, because it has fewer ingredients. I like the base flavor better, because (I've learned) I'm not a fan of American cheese. On the down side, I used part of a rather strong - and aging, at that - onion, and I fear it will take some work to tone it down. They do note that sweet onion gives a milder flavor, and I should have paid heed rather than trying to rescue an onion fragment from fridge storage. I'll report back when it's had time to let the flavors mingle.

 

I expect that when I'm done with this project, I will have settled on my Very Own Recipe, a hybrid of many others.

 

This latest batch is some of our road food, hence the overly harsh light as we'd stopped at a picnic area. This is a nice version, and I'll try it again with some sweet onion. The old, strong onion I used really does detract from the overall balance. 

 

20180423_144707.jpg

 

I guess y'all can see where we stand on celery. :P

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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23 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I guess y'all can see where we stand on celery. :P

 But you may never know where I stand on the stuff on the end of the celery.  xD

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 hours ago, Smithy said:

\

This latest batch is some of our road food, hence the overly harsh light as we'd stopped at a picnic area. This is a nice version, and I'll try it again with some sweet onion. The old, strong onion I used really does detract from the overall balance. 

 

20180423_144707.jpg

 

I guess y'all can see where we stand on celery. :P

I identify with you..... loved celery when I was younger but by my late 20's it gave me problems so now it is no longer in my life.......I miss you green crunchy stuff.............


Edited by suzilightning (log)
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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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By the way, the color balance in that photo really is off. The cheese is more of a red-orange. Maybe I'm not doing the originators of that recipe any favors. :$ 


Edited by Smithy Lost one emoticon (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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So, I just realized that the dressing for Souper Salad's fettuccine & corn salad is a riff on pimento cheese. There's no official recipe out there, but it's grated parmesan, mayonnaise, and black pepper mixed (to a very thick, almost spackle-like consistency) and then mixed with cooked and chilled fettuccine noodles and cooked and cooled corn kernels. The finished dish tends to stick together as one giant clump. Tasty, though.


Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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21 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

So, I just realized that the dressing for Souper Salad's fettuccine & corn salad is a riff on pimento cheese. There's no official recipe out there, but it's grated parmesan, mayonnaise, and black pepper mixed (to a very thick, almost spackle-like consistency) and then mixed with cooked and chilled fettuccine noodles and cooked and cooled corn kernels. The finished dish tends to stick together as one giant clump. Tasty, though.

 

Wouldn't that be more of a riff off fettuccini Alfredo?

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55 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Wouldn't that be more of a riff off fettuccini Alfredo?

 

It could kind of go either way...

Alfredo:

Pros: same noodles, has Parmesan

Cons: Alfredo is served hot, sauce contains butter and water in addition to cheese

 

Pimento Cheese:

Pros: both are served cold, mayo + cheese mixture as the base

Cons: different cheese, little or no black pepper, not usually served on pasta, no onion or pimento

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