Pimento cheese seems innocent enough. Two types of cheddar, some mayo, a little seasoning, chopped up pimentos. Whirr these things together in a blender, spread on a cracker.
And then...suddenly you're trying to think of other ways to incorporate this miracle spread in your diet. Stuffed into celery sticks? Spread on a bagel? As a filling for a deviled egg? In a burger? A tiny bit mixed in with your daily smoothie? I'm kidding. (Sort of.)
This stuff is addictive, is my point. It might not sound like much, but when made with good-quality cheddar and spread over warm baguette slices, pimento cheese is a true Southern delicacy. Make this recipe the next time you've got a group of hungry people who will polish off the jar and not leave you with any leftovers to eat with a spoon, or um, your fingers.
Mother's everyday pimento cheese
This is not my mother's recipe, it's someone else's mother, via Gourmet. Many Southern cooks swear by stirring the mixture into a paste by hand, but my arm got tired so I used a food processor, which worked fine. I leave that decision up to you.
(Makes about 3 cups)
1/2 lb. extra-sharp Vermont white cheddar
1/2 lb. extra-sharp aged New York (orange) cheddar
1 7 oz. jar pimentos, drained and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. black pepper
cayenne to taste
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Finely grate cheeses into a large bowl. Stir in pimentos, black pepper, cayenne, and salt to taste with a fork. Then stir in mayonnaise, mashing mixture with fork until relatively smooth. (It should be flecked with small pieces of pimento.) Scrape spread into a crock or jar and chill, covered, at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. Serve pimento cheese with crackers or use as a filling for finger sandwiches.