Pimento cheese. When it’s good it’s good but when it’s bad, heaven help us. Bad = pureed, waxy orange in color, 35 ingredients the least of which is cheese. Seeing someone slathering that goop on a sandwich is heartbreaking. Pimento cheese is too easy to not make at home. I had to play around with it a bit but this recipe satisfies my need for texture, tang and heat. First, this pimento cheese is not mashed or pureed. The cheese is assertively cheese. Second, I don’t love mayonnaise and many pimento cheese recipes are swimming in mayo. This recipe has just enough mayonnaise to bind. It will look like you went overboard when you stir it up but trust me, as someone who merely tolerates mayo I won’t lead you astray, it’s the right amount. The longer the pimento cheese sits, the more it drinks up the mayo. It’s good immediately but even better the next day. I made this and added it to a Southern appetizer tray I was taking to a party. Served alongside a good pickle, I used Farmer’s Daughter Thai Basil Green Beans, and some crackers and it’s Southern to a T. I store it in 2 Mason jars. Share one and keep the other for a recipe that will follow in the next few days, or eat it, I don’t judge.
Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
8 oz bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 drops hot sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 large jalapeno, finely chopped
8 oz jar pimentos, 5-1/4 oz drained weight
scant 1/2 c. mayonnaise, about 1 Tbs. shy
1. Stir the cheese, salt, pepper, hot sauce, cayenne and jalapeno together in a bowl.
2. The pimentos are whole in the jar. Remove 1 and 1/2 to a cutting board. Cut into strips and then dice small but not fine. You want them to retain some texture. Add the pimentos and any drippings on the cutting board to the bowl. In the alternative you can buy 2 smaller jars of already diced pimentos. I prefer dicing them myself to control the size.
3. Add the mayonnaise and stir just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can blend. It’s best if refrigerated overnight.