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Zesty Southern Pimento Cheese 

Admittedly my relationship with Pimento Cheese did not begin until I moved South. I had heard of it, but honestly thought of it as some type of cheese mixture close to Port Wine Cheese or a Cheese Ball you have at the holiday’s.

Kentucky Derby Party Pimento Cheese recipe on AnAppealingPlan.com by @KraylFunch (9) 750x

After a few visits with neighbors and attending various gatherings this “southern” mixture started to become more and more a part of my entertaining menu. Still, I had not made it personally – I thought, “Is a girl born and raised in the Northeast even allowed to make and serve this dish??”

So, I began to do a little research on recipes and the history of Pimento Cheese. Let’s start with recipes – I think there are just as many recipe variations as there are Southern mothers! Too many to count and all with their own must have ingredients, and story to go along, about why this ingredient is a MUST for an authentic Pimento Cheese Recipe.

Kentucky Derby Table  pimento Cheese with Mint Julep Equestrian on AnAppealingPlan.com #KraylFunch (2) 750x

 

Moving on to the history. No one was more shocked to find out that pimento cheese got its beginnings in the North—in New York, in fact—as a product of industrial food manufacturing and mass marketing! Imagine that? This truly southern dish is a transplant to the warmer weather, just like many of us in the Southern states.

Sometime shortly after World War II, the popularity of the pre-made pimento cheese brands began to fade, but Southern cooks took what began as an industrial food product and started developing their own recipes for making and serving it at home.

According to Robert Moss, Southern Food Correspondent and author of Going Lardcore: Adventures in New Southern Dining, from SeriousEats.com“These new, up-to-date products—cream cheese and red pimentos—were favorites of the practitioners of Domestic Science. Also known as “home economics,” it was a women-led social reform movement that sought to bring order and scientific precision to all aspects of the home, with a particular emphasis on scientific cooking and a neat dinner table. Cream cheese was the perfect food for the Domestic Science sensibility. The Domestic Scientists loved canned pimentos, too, especially their mild, inoffensive flavor and their flashy red color.” 

Don’t you love it!

So without further delay my fellow “Domestic Scientists” – I offer you my version of Zesty Pimento Cheese Spread.

Kentucky Derby Table Cheese Tulips Eggs Kale Mint Julep Equestrian  (11) 750x

 

ZESTY PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 8 ounces package whipped cream cheese
  • 2 – 4 ounce jars of diced pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon srirachi sauce, or hot sauce of choice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, add to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, add to taste
  • 5 cups {1 1/4 pounds} shredded cheddar cheese
  • green onions, for garnish if desired

METHOD

In a food processor combine cream cheese, pimentos, celery seeds, Worcestershire sauce, srirachi sauce, apple cider, salt and pepper. Season to taste.

In a medium size bowl combine cream cheese mixture and shredded cheese with a wooden spoon until well blended. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Garnish with green onions, if desired. Serve with crackers or melba toast.

How do you like your pimento cheese spread?? Let me know in the comments below!

15 Comments

  • David Martin

    Pretty much in agreement with post. The celery seeds are found mainly in chicken salad receipts of the old South. I am a purist with PC: extra sharp cheese, mayo, pimento, pepper, dash of cayenne and or Tabasco, dash of Worcestershire sauce, and very small pinch of sugar. Perhaps a bit of Swiss cheese in addition to cheddar. Never use celery seed with PC.

  • Alan Guinn

    This recipe looks great!

    I grew up on pimento cheese, and the recipe at our Southern home varied, based on whether or not my Mom–or my Dad–made it.

    Those little 4 oz pimento jars have been around forever!

    What I’ve gone to is ONLY using Mt. Olive Red Peppers–so I can control the size of the chop on the pepper–and the only mayo to mix in for what I consider the perfect “sandwich pimento cheese” is Duke’s.

    That’s all that’s needed for a perfect sandwich–except you need to remember that you grill it with butter on both sides of the bread and grill it on iron.

    Cheese dreams and comfort unlimited!

  • Tabitha Blue

    Great looking recipe, Krayl!!! I’ll have to try it… I’m not sure that I’ve had pimento cheese before actually! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up at Dream Create Inspire too!

  • Madaine

    Hands down pimento cheese is one of my favorite things about the south! I live in Italy now and can’t get pimento cheese or even cheddar but it’s literally the first thing I ask for when I get home to Virginia!

  • sarah

    I too fell in love with Pimento cheese as a converted southerner! When I do have cheese, this is now one of my favs, and always a staple at any southern gathering! Beautiful photography and delicious recipe, can’t wait to try it!

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