I had never considered making Pimento Cheese Spread from scratch until my mother-in-law prepared some a year or so ago. The spread was delicious; much better than anything store bought. It was mild with just enough pimento flavor and bite. With the holidays here, I remembered the spread as a colorful recipe to serve with vegetables and crackers at a buffet–something healthy. However, the recipe became misplaced and no one seemed to have a copy.
My mother-in-law, who is 92-years-old, still drives to work almost every day, lives alone and takes in all kinds of social activities with families and friends. However, she misplaced the recipe for the pimento cheese spread–and that just made me more determined to make the spread. I recall that the recipe was unique–not like any recipe I’d seen on the internet. Much better, in my opinion, than anything I’ve tasted. Through trial and error and making multiple batches, I think I have the recipe reconstructed.
The key ingredients which make this recipe memorable are using Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp-White Cheddar Cheese and green onions. There is no yellow cheese in the recipe. The white cheese is very mild; but with some bite. Only Cracker Barrel brand of cheese seems to work. Green onions? Yes, they are the other unique ingredient in this recipe. They give the spread another dimension. I use diced canned pimentos with the juice for lots of pimento flavor.
The recipe is very easy to make and includes just a few ingredients. The hardest part is shredding the cheese–I use a food processor. It is essential to let the spread chill several hours; preferably overnight, so the flavors blend together–it also helps get rid of any oily texture.
So now I have re-constructed the recipe and have one that is truly my own. It is very simple–sometimes easy is better! The other ingredients in the recipe are similar to other recipes that I have researched–Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, black pepper and real mayonnaise (Blue Plate, Hellmann or Kraft are the brands I typically use.)
Growing Pimento Peppers in the Garden
I like to try to grow different plants in my garden each year. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that hot peppers are easy to grow. Pimento peppers are one of the varieties that I have been successful at growing. They are planted in spring and throughout the early summer. Pimento peppers are mild, sweet and just slightly spicy with a nice medium size. Best of all, they require little care; occasional watering if there is a dry spell. The biggest problem in my garden is snails, so I’ve learned to apply snail bait when planting.
For cooking, I add them to any stir fried dish or Mexican-type entree. For this spread, they could be roasted, peeled and added to the other ingredients.
Making the Pimento Cheese Spread
For ease, I grate the cheese in a food processor with the shredding attachment.
Change to the mixing attachment and process the cheese a little more. Then you can go in two directions. Here, I’ve add the mayonnaise, seasonings, pimentos and green onions to make a smooth pate.
This makes a finely homogenized spread.For a spread or dip that has more texture, shred the cheese in the food processor and chop just a bit. Then transfer the cheese to a bowl and mix in the other ingredients by hand including finely chopped green onions. This makes a courser spread with the pimentos in larger pieces–which I actually prefer.The festive spread makes a nice addition to a holiday party table. Serve as a dip with crackers, celery, other vegetables or as a spread to make sandwiches. My husband loves the spread and it quickly disappears so I have to warn him not to eat it all if I’m using it for a specific occasion.
Pimento Cheese Spread by MayleesKitchen
- 2-8 oz packages Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp-White Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup real mayonnaise (Kraft, Blue Plate, Helman)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2-6 drops Tabasco sauce (go easy, a few drops can be “hot”)
- dash black pepper
- 2-4 oz jars chopped pimentos, plus juice
- 3 green onions and half of tops, chopped finely
- Crackers, celery, vegetables, slices of bread
Method and Steps
- Shred the cheese using food processor with shredding attachment or by hand with hand-shredder.
- Change to mixer attachment of food processor and give several pulses until the cheese is coarsely chopped.
- Transfer to a medium bowl, stir in mayonnaise.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, 2 drops Tabasco sauce, and dash black pepper and stir to combine.
- By hand stir in chopped pimentos plus juice and green onions and tops.
- Taste, adjust seasonings if needed. Add Tabasco sauce by just several drops at at time. Sir well to combine after each addition.
- Refrigerate at least an hour; preferably overnight.
- Serve with crackers, celery, other vegetables or spread on bread to make sandwiches.