Pimiento cheese is often called the “Paté of the South”, because it is a beloved and iconic Southern dish. We love it on crackers, crudité and sandwiches. It also finds its way into grits and as a condiment for burgers. Can you find it in stuffed chicken and muffins? Why yes, you can!
We take our pimiento cheese seriously. A visit to any market will yield several commercially prepared products. You can use these in a pinch, but the best is made from scratch.
The inspiration for my humble recipe comes by testing many others from award winning chefs, prominent food writers and magazines. I have made this recipe my own by adjusting, substituting and adding ingredients to suit my family’s individual taste. I encourage you to begin here, but do the same to make it your own.
Here’s How I Make It
Use fresh pimiento, a.k.a. cherry peppers whenever possible, but you may use canned or jarred when fresh are unavailable or just for convenience.
Grate the cheese on a box grater, nick a few knuckles and don’t worry about the blood – it just adds a little seasoning. Or, use a food processor as I do and finish in less then 10 seconds!
Let the cream cheese soften and then beat in the mayonnaise.
Add the seasonings.
Mix in the pickles, cheddar cheese and brine.
Add the diced pimiento.
Fold in the pimiento last.
Jar it up and refrigerate overnight to give it time to absorb the brine and for the flavors to meld!Print
Pimiento Cheese – the Pate’ of the South!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 1.25 QT 1x
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (your favorite kind)
- 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce – more to taste
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic – micro-planed
- 1 TBL onion – minced
- 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese – grated roughly
- 1/4 cup sweet and spicy butter pickles – chopped get the recipe HERE
- 1/3 cup pickle brine – divided
- 3 large fresh pimiento peppers – or – 12 oz canned or jarred pimientos – diced
- Option A: Roast the peppers over an open gas stove flame until the skin is charred, place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them steam until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off, cut in half lengthwise, open and scrape away all the seeds and membrane. Dice the peppers and reserve.
- Option B: If using jarred, diced peppers, drain them
- Let the cream cheese warm and soften in a large bowl, then mash with a wooden spoon and mix in the mayonnaise
- Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, smoked paprika, onion, garlic and stir to blend in the cream cheese-mayo mixture
- Add the chopped pickles, 1/4 cup of brine and cheddar cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. For a smoother texture add the remaining brine and use a mixer on low speed with a paddle attachment.
- Fold in the pimiento peppers.
- Cover or jar the pimiento cheese and refrigerate overnight to give it time to absorb the liquid and for the flavors to harmonize