Last weekend, my in-laws celebrated 50 wonderful years of marriage with a family trip to The Greenbriar in West Virginia. Their three children along with spouses, significant others and eight grandchildren joined them for three memorable nights of hiking, bowling, croquet, lots of eating, a tour of a secret bunker (so cool!)…and, of course, Final Four game viewing! My mother-in-law also treated the women and girls to a spa treatment. Heaven!
One of the many activities offered throughout the weekend was a cooking demonstration. My niece, Britt, and I watched as a Greenbriar chef whipped up a classic version of a Southern favorite–pimento cheese spread. Upon tasting, Britt commented that the spread would make an awesome topping for tacos. That got me to thinking that tortilla chips would be a perfect stand-in for the customary melba toast accompaniment and black olives would top things off quite nicely. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of how a gooey grilled cheese sandwich using this savory spread could bring an old favorite to a whole new level. It’s going to happen soon!
A food processor makes quick work of this Southern staple, and I like that this version incorporates a small amount of mayonnaise and no cream cheese. I’m thinking a spoonful of horseradish would be a nice addition the next time around–and I’m definitely going to follow Britt’s lead and use this batch in some south-of-the-border recipes. : )
- 1/2 cup of jarred pimento, well drained
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha*)
- 16 ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Optional garnish: black olive slices
- For serving: tortilla chips, crackers, celery and carrot sticks, cucumber rounds, etc.
In a food processor, process the pimentos, mayonnaise, garlic, Worcestershire, and hot sauce until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice as needed. (I find it helpful to lightly stir the garlic and sauces into the mayonnaise before processing. This will prevent the small amount of sauce and bits of garlic from settling under the blade.)
Add the cheese and pulse until uniformly blended with fine bits of cheese throughout, about 20 pulses. Scrape down the sides of the processor after about 10 pulses. If you prefer a creamier consistency, you may process longer.
Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The spread will keep for approximately 2 weeks.
- *When fully blended, taste and add a little more hot sauce and/or freshly ground pepper to taste. As an option to the hot sauce, you may use 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
You may also enjoy…
Cheese Crisps — chances are you have the one ingredient needed for this easy appetizer right in your fridge
3-Ingredient Chuck Roast in Foil — my mother-in-law is to thank for this amazing recipe