Classic Pimento Cheese

Growing up pimento cheese was always in the refrigerator. It was considered a comfort food in my family. Several years ago my mother had been suffering with tummy trouble so I made her some pimento cheese for lunch. She called me several hours later and said she was on her way to the emergency room. After several tests were run the Doctor said she needed to have her gallbladder removed. My pimento cheese had finally put her over the edge! So at my house we refer to this pimento cheese as “Hospital Pimento Cheese”! because it landed my mother in the hospital. Don’t worry, mom’s O.K. After surgery mom wouldn’t eat pimento cheese for a while but now she’s back on a steady diet of it!

8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
(Please do not use pre-grated cheese it will not have the same texture or flavor)
3-4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4 ounce jar diced pimentos
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Grate cheddar cheese. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade add cheese, mayonnaise, vinegar, pimentos, mustard, salt and pepper. Pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust spices. Tip:Try not to over-process the pimento cheese or you will have a cheese smoothie! Serve as an appetizer with celery sticks and assorted crackers.

Options: For a spicy kick, use drained Rotel tomatoes in place of pimento, or add diced jalapeno pepper or cayenne pepper. You can also heat the pimento cheese in the microwave until it melts to make a dip.

(Published in The Johnson City News and Neighbor on September 22, 2012)

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