The Best Cheese Spread Ever
Posted by Gail | Filed under Gail Cooks!
You know that red thing that comes stuffed inside an olive? That’s pimento, or cherry pepper. It’s a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili peppers. The flesh is sweet and more aromatic than a red bell pepper.
I have very fond memories of this cheese spread showing up at tea-time (yes, my grandmother used to have a formal tea), or on sandwiches. I just loved it. When it was served at tea, the sandwiches would have the crusts trimmed and would be cut into triangles.
Pimento cheese is a common food in the southern U.S., though pretty much unknown elsewhere. Try it. I bet you’ll love it. And it’s a darned side more interesting that that cheese stuff you get out of a bottle!
Gail’s Pimento Cheese
- Medium jar of mayonnaise (Hellman’s please)
- Small bottle of pimento, drained and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups grated extra-old cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp scotchbonnet pepper sauce
Mix the mayo with the pimento and add the grated cheese to a consistency you like. Keep in mind that once refrigerated it will become a little firmer.
If you can’t find pimento, I have successfully substituted roasted bell peppers, but you’ll have to use a little more to get a good flavour… say ½ cup. And make sure you drain it well so you don’t make the spread too watery.
Add the scotchbonnet pepper to taste. My favorite Scotchbonnet sauce is made by Grace. Try to find it if you can; it has all the flavour with a little less heat.
Leave it to “mature” for a day before serving with crackers, pita chips or with garlic toast fingers. Or spread it on bread for a quick sandwich that is sure to please.
Experiment and customize your pimento cheese to your taste. You can add garlic. You can add dill pickles. Some people like to add a stalk of green onion finely chopped, but go easy on the green onion because it can overpower the pimento. I leave it out. If you come up with something sensational, send me a note!