When a sweet treat isn't what you're craving, try this recipe for savory Pimento Cheese.
A sweet treat in the afternoon is sometimes a necessary pick-me-up, but there are times when a savory treat hits the spot. Cheese is something I always go to, and pimento cheese takes it to another level. I share my recipe for Pimento Cheese in this episode of Tart Bites.
Transcribed by Otter.ai; lightly edited. Please excuse typos or grammar errors.
Episode 104 - Pimento Cheese
Welcome to Tart Words. I'm your host, Linda Hengerer. And I'm a writer, a reader and a baker. I talk to writers about their latest book and what inspires them, chat with fellow author Suzanne Fox about what writers can learn from reading their favorite authors, and share fast and easy recipes for anyone looking for a sweet treat. Join me as I share Tart Bites, Tart Thoughts, and Tart Words.
Welcome to Tart Bites. Today I'm talking about Pimento Cheese. Pimento cheese is a Southern staple to have on hand or to serve at parties. I grew up in New Jersey and I wasn't familiar with it until I moved to Florida, and then discovered how delightful it is. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. How could it not be delicious. It's also fast and easy. I usually keep cream cheese in the refrigerator. Whenever I'm grating cheese, I grate more than I need so I can keep some on hand. I store it in a bowl, topped with wax paper, and covered with plastic wrap. Grate your own cheese for best flavor; commercial grated cheese is coated to prevent clumping. My grated cheese does clump a little bit, but I just ruffle it up as I add it to my mixing bowl. If you like, you can use the two different sizes on your box grater but I just grate everything on the largest hole. There are many ways to make pimento cheese but here's how I do it. Note: you can use a mixer to combine the ingredients but I do it by hand. No need to move my stand mixer around or wash more utensils than necessary.
1 package 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened to room temperature
½ cup mayonnaise
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
OPTIONAL: ½ tsp cayenne pepper or Japanese seven spice (Togarashi), or to taste
4 oz diced pimentos, well drained
2 cups grated cheese (I mix a sharp white cheddar and a medium yellow cheddar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend the first five ingredients together until well combined. Add the pimentos and fold in until combined. Add grated cheese and fold in until well combined; taste and season as needed. I like a lot of pepper and I put about five grinds of pepper into the mix with the garlic and onion powders. If I want more I add it the end. Put the pimento cheese in an airtight container and refrigerate; the flavors will melt together in a few hours. But if you can't wait, you can eat it now. I usually serve this on Triscuits or Ritz crackers, and it's delicious on crudité; corn chips are also pretty tasty. The best grilled cheese sandwich I ever had used a combination of sharp cheddar, Oaxaca cheese, and pimento cheese on sourdough bread. Heaven on a plate.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Tart Bites. I'll be back with another Tart Bite next week.
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Thank you again for joining me, Linda Hengerer for this episode of Tart Words.