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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Southern Caviar

Pimiento Cheese

In the 1900s during the Great Depression, the pimiento pepper grew in abundance in Southern states. The state of Georgia was even known as the 'Pimiento Capital of the World'. It was the abundance of the pimiento peppers that sealed the deal for pimiento cheese to become a Southern staple. The basic recipe is extremely inexpensive using only grated sharp cheddar, mayo and pimiento peppers, which is why it was so utilized during those tough Depression years. But now the spread is so popular that restaurants all over the country have come up with gourmet versions to put on burgers, use as fritters, in grits and stuff into a great summer tomato. They even serve pimiento cheese sandwiches wrapped in green wax paper at the Master's Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA each year. However you choose to serve your pimiento cheese, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Pimiento Cheese Recipe

Makes: A lot 
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: None

1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined
1 clove of garlic, peeled
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (I like Kraft Crackel Barrel)
8 ounces gouda, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 small jar chopped pimientos (including liquid)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
Splash of Tabasco Sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fresh black pepper to taste

In a food processor, grate sharp cheddar and Gouda. Remove cheese from food processor and set aside.

Replace food processor grater with chopping blade, process the jalapeno and garlic until a paste. Once processed add mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire,Tabasco, both grated cheeses and pepper. Process until mixture begins to resemble a spread. May have to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is combined well. Toss in the pimientos and parsley. Pulse to combine.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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