A Southern staple, you'll see Pimento Cheese prepared in almost every variation possible. It goes with ease from the simplest lunch table to the most elegant party.
I made this smoky version for a recent family get-together, and it was a big hit. Those people know pimento cheese, y'all, so I know it was good.
Smoky Pecan Pimento Cheese Print
16 oz. block (ungrated) cheddar cheese (I used 8 oz. mild, 8 oz. medium)
Generous 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup real mayonnaise
1 small (2 oz.) jar chopped pimentos, drained
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't need any salt; the cheese and mayo are pretty salty)
1. Grate cheese into a large bowl, then add pecans. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and all the rest of the ingredients until very well combined.
3. Stir mayonnaise mixture into cheese and pecans and mix well.
4. Cover tightly and refrigerate several hours or (preferably) overnight. Setting it out of the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving will make it more spreadable. Refrigerate leftovers.
- You can use packaged pre-grated cheese, but the texture of the finished product won't be as smooth. Pre-grated cheese is coated with stuff to keep it from clumping up and sticking to itself, so it won't blend quite as nicely.
- If you let the block cheese sit out of the fridge for a few minutes before grating, it grates faster and more easily.
- The 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder called for doesn't give any heat, just adds another layer of smoky flavor. Increase amount for more heat.
- Pimento cheese makes delicious sandwiches of all kinds: grilled cheese, sliders, excellent on homemade biscuits.
- To make basic pimento cheese, just mix the cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise (a little less, about 3/4 cup), then salt and pepper to taste. Some people add in a little onion or other things. My grandmother always added a chopped hard boiled egg.