Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

One of the most popular dishes from my cooking classes of the last few years is probably my pimento cheese.

I’ve been a longtime fan of pimento cheese, and I’ve tried it many ways and made it many times over the years.

But recently I’ve settled on the recipe below. It’s big on cheese and pimento and low on filter, avoiding the greasy, bland flavor of so many commercial pimento cheeses.

The difference is in proportions — using large amounts of cheese and pimentos compared to everything else — and quality ingredients. Most important is a good-quality sharp cheese. I particularly like this sharp white cheddar.

The use of cream cheese, in place of half of the mayonnaise, lends a firmer texture and cuts down on the fat. In fact, I recommend both reduced fat cream cheese and light mayonnaise.

With all the full-fat cheese in here, you won’t notice the light ingredients. Some might argue that full-fat mayo and cream cheese actually make this a little rich. Trust me, my version is plenty indulgent — so much so I don’t keep on hand regularly. And, it’s also just a little addictive. It’s hard to eat just a bite.

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Recipe from Michael Hastings

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email to mhastings@wsjournal.com. Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number. Previously published recipes are available in the Recipe Database at www.journalnow.com/swap.

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