*** Want to learn how to make something you always buy prepared - but with lots of preservatives? It's so easy a Geico Caveman could do it!
From Denny: Do you ever get curious about making your own sandwich fillings like pimento cheese spread? Ever wondered just how your local grocery deli makes theirs? Get tired of navigating all those unpronounceable chemical names on the labels and want something better for your family?
Here in Louisiana we do have more than grocery store chains with big food companies making prepackaged foods. There are still those one-store Mom and Pop groceries that have been around for decades with a huge rockin' 'n' rollin' business bursting in the doors constantly.
Southern Living Magazine wrote up an easy step-by-step primer in their May issue on how to prepare your very own pimento cheese. Of course, this being Louisiana where we love our food to burst with flavor we like to add Tobasco or another brand of hot sauce to this recipe - like Louisiana Hot Sauce which is less vinegary and a bit milder. Hot sauce pairs wonderfully with any cheese dish.
When your weekend is fast-paced or you just want to opt out from a lot of cooking this is an easy recipe to whip up in large batches to keep everyone happy. All they have to do is snack on it with crackers, piled high on celery sticks or slather it on toast for a quick meal.
Note: Celery, like cucumber is a natural coolant for the body to help you in the summer heat.
Our Favorite Pimiento Cheese
From: May 2010 issue of Southern Living magazine
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup high-quality mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s (Southern Living’s recipe called for 1-1/2 cups, but Karyn found that 1 cup was enough.)
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
(Note from Denny: Or you can scorch until blackened your own ripe red bell peppers over an open flame, peel off the skin, and instant pimento without the jar. Easy to do when red bell peppers are overflowing in the markets during July and August.)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely grated onion
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
8 ozs. coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ozs. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 to 5 dashes of Tabasco sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 1 cup chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stirring helps to ensure even browning. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, drained pimiento, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion and ground red pepper.
Mix the grated and shredded Cheddar into the mayonnaise mixture. Southern Living’s recipe calls for hand shredding and grating the cheese, but Karyn used pre-shredded/grated cheeses. Season with Tabasco pepper sauce to taste.
4. Stir in the cooled roasted pecans and combine until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*** Pimento cheese grilled sandwich by biskuit @ flickr
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Dennys Food and Recipes
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