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Robin Garr

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RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Robin Garr » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:18 pm

pimento.jpg
Pimento cheese!
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Well, the best pimento cheese I've ever made, I mean. I made way too much for an event Saturday and brought a nice portion back home, where it's been serving me for lunch and snacks ever since.

As pimento cheese should be, it was just as simple as can be: Grate extra-sharp cheddar (Cuisinart grating blade), then mix with a jar of diced pimentos (drained) and about the same amount of roasted Italian peppers, also small dice, with just enough good quality mayo to moisten.

Then the doorway to flavor glory opens with the flavorings, where you want the final dish to be piquant but not fiery. So, to taste, sampling as you go:

Freshly ground black pepper, cayenne, a tiny dab of Sriracha sauce, a dash of dry mustard and a shake of Japanese wasabi powder. The four different heats come together like a classical chile quintet, but I can't emphasize too strongly the importance of keeping it subtle and checking tastes before you call it a wrap.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:11 am

This is one that I've never tried to make, and one that you don't see out in this part of the country much at all. I'll have to give it a shot.
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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Jenise » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:46 am

Robin, I made a pimento cheese for a recent supper club meal that Bob and I fell in love with. But what we liked was very different from what you made; texturally, at least. You know my phobias--so I couldn't bear the idea of pieces of grated cheese enconsed in a sauce as your picture shows, I had to blend the ingredients to get a spread that was well incorporated, more like a soft cheese ball. Thing is, I had no idea what I was making in that I'd never had pimento cheese before. I just riffed on what I understood the classic ingredients to be, then added seasoning until I was happy with the result. IIRC it took some finely chopped white onion and green chiles for heat to seal the deal. What I was unsure of was classic texture. Is yours 'classic'?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:28 pm

Robin, are those homemade crackers? They look great. Also, are you speaking of the jarred Italian roasted red peppers?
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:37 pm

I made this last night for a neighborhood happy hour and it came out really well. Details are in the "What's Cooking?" thread.

Thanks, Robin!
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Robin Garr

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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Robin Garr » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:50 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:Robin, are those homemade crackers? They look great. Also, are you speaking of the jarred Italian roasted red peppers?

Hi, Karen! I got busy and missed the follow-up questions. :oops:

The crackers aren't homemade, they're flavored flatbread crackers from a local food-specialty shop that I love, Lotsa Pasta.

And yes, I had some leftover jarred Italian roast red peppers and decided to dice them fine and mix them with the pimentos. They're similar, but the smoky charry bits and slightly sweeter taste of the Italian peppers might contribute to the more complex flavor profile I was going for.
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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Robin Garr » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:51 pm

Jenise wrote:I was unsure of was classic texture. Is yours 'classic'?

Umm ... I'm not sure! :lol: I think so. When I make pimento cheese, I generally use just enough may to moisten it but not enough to make it gloppy. Mary doesn't have a phobia, but she doesn't like gloppy mayo dishes. :)
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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:51 pm

I picked up aged white cheddar today and made this. While I love the taste and got the heat right on, I can't say I like the gloppy texture to use a dip or spread. I am going to run it through my small food processor and see if I like it better. Also, during the tasting/adding period, I decided it needed a few more pimentos, and while I drained the first addition, I did not drain the second and the mix is a bit too wet. I think I will add a bit more cheddar too. By the way, why does this have both pimentoes and Italian roasted red peppers? Is the taste that much different between the two?
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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Robin Garr » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:58 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:By the way, why does this have both pimentoes and Italian roasted red peppers? Is the taste that much different between the two?

No, they are very similar. It's just that I had both, and I thought mixing up the two types might make for a richer and more profound flavor, as the Food Critic on Japan Iron Chef used to say. But mostly, I had some of both and wanted to use them up. :mrgreen:
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Re: RCP of sorts: Best pimento cheese ever?

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:19 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:By the way, why does this have both pimentos and Italian roasted red peppers? Is the taste that much different between the two?

No, they are very similar. It's just that I had both, and I thought mixing up the two types might make for a richer and more profound flavor, as the Food Critic on Japan Iron Chef used to say. But mostly, I had some of both and wanted to use them up. :mrgreen:

I understand that. I did put the mixture through my food processor and love it. Each flavor became more pronounced and it is a beautiful color. I did not need to add more cheese either as the cheese flavor really popped. Great! The heat is right on. I used the Ortega chili pepper Mike suggested, Tabasco and Chipotle Tabasco. I was out of Wasabi.
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RCP: Miss Verba's Pimiento Cheese

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:15 pm

Although my first batch of pimiento cheese was good, I noticed that after putting in through the food processor, the flavors popped. I liked the texture better, but the onion flavor became more pronounced with each passing day. I was happy that I made a small amount. I was perusing through Frank Stitt's Southern Table over the weekend and came across his long time employee's recipe for pimento cheese. We love it. The picture suggests serving on a Saltine Cracker with stalks of celery heart with leaves. I did not have Saltines, but did have a fresh box of Wise Crackers in the rosemary, garlic flavor. Very yummy!

Miss Verba's Pimiento Cheese
Makes about 2 cups

1 pound sharp yellow cheddar
1/4 pound cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
3 large red bell peppers, blackened, peeled, seeded and rough chop
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise or best quality commercial mayo
1 tsp sugar
Splash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, more or less
Grate the cheddar in food processor with grating disc. Add rest of ingredients and process until smooth.. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Note: Taste as you add the hot stuff, do more or less to your preference.

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