Visiting my grandmother in the south when I was growing up, one of the highlights was her homemade pimento cheese. Born and raised in south Georgia, she was a frugal and organized homemaker.
She made pretty much everything from scratch, but pimento cheese in particular is famous for its Georgia roots. One does not just purchase pimento cheese from the grocery store in the pimento pepper capital of the world.
By the time I was visiting her, she lived in Alabama, but I could still count on pimento cheese from scratch.
She had a round metal grater that produced finely grated cheddar cheese onto a large piece of wax paper. When a heaping mound of freshly grated cheese was ready, she combined it in a bowl with mayonnaise until it was a creamy consistency.
A small jar of diced pimentos, a Georgia staple that is still always found in my pantry, was drained and added to the bowl. A dash of ground cayenne pepper for bite and a little salt and pepper is all the seasoning needed.
My grandmother always served her pimento cheese cold, either with Ritz crackers or on a sandwich. I diverge from her in that regard.
I love a snack of pimento cheese right out of the refrigerator as much as the next person, but what is truly delectable is melted pimento cheese on a slice of toasted hearty bread. I like to toast the bread first to give it a little more strength to hold up the mounds of gooey melted cheese, then add the pimento cheese and put it back under the broiler for just long enough to melt the cheese.
No matter how you like to eat it, homemade pimento cheese is super easy to make and tastes better than store-bought.
Homemade Pimento Cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise plus more as needed, Duke's is really the only choice for the best pimento cheese!
- 4 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
- dash ground cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a medium size bowl, mix the cheeses and the mayonnaise until well blended. Add additional mayonnaise as needed for a creamy consistency.
- Add the diced pimentos and mix well. Season with ground cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate leftovers.