Everyone has a comfort food or foods from their childhood. For you it might be Eggo Waffles…or sausage gravy…or chicken and dumplings…or circus peanuts. You know, I have it on good authority that if you eat too many circus peanuts when you’re little, that you might not be able to even look at them 30 years later. Or so I hear from OTHER PEOPLE. *Cough* Maybe that’s how I can cure all my children from wanting candy – let them eat it until they puke. Yep – good plan.
But anyway, for me that food is Pimento Cheese. And I’m not talking about the goop from the store labeled “pimento cheese.” Blech! No sir. I mean, my Mama’s Pimento cheese. There are tons of homemade pimento cheese recipes out there, but I’m here to tell you that THIS is the best one. I’ve already blessed you all with several of my awesome Mama’s recipes: Mama’s Sausage Macaroni or Mama’s Tomato Soup. Today we’re tackling her Pimento Cheese – because it’s my goal in life to feed the world!
This week as we are cooking through my stash, we come to Southern Living 1988. Ya know, I’ve realized that even though I really love these cookbooks, after looking at them for a few minutes, my eyes start to glaze over. Because all the recipes are so close together and the print is small…and there AREN’T ENOUGH PICTURES! So, when I got to the recipe for Pimento Cheese, I knew I would tackle it, and use my Mama’s recipe instead.
So, Chunky Pimento Cheese. I’m sorry, but I hate foods labeled as “chunky.” It makes me think of two things:
1. Chunky = old = think clabbered milk that plops when you pour it. Now, does that sound appetizing to name a food? (This does not apply to my awesome Chunky Apple Bread.)
2. Chunky = fat = if you eat this, you’re gonna be chunky and jiggle when you walk. Yep – totally a recipe I want to try. Bring on the thunder thighs, y’all! Wahoo!!!!
So, therefore I shall rid the world of all recipes labeled “chunky.” Except Chunky Apple Bread.
Now, let’s be up front and honest here. My Mama’s Pimento Cheese uses Velveeta. In the South, Velveeta is a commonplace item – especially at church potlucks covering every vegetable imaginable. While the thought of Velveeta kinda freaks me out (room temperature cheese that never goes bad?!) and when you smack it, it kinds wobbles like jello – it was a “food” that I was familiar with before going Whole Foods. And yes, I realize that it’s weird that I might want to smack a piece of cheese.
Do we eat Velveeta in the Myers house? Nope. If my Mama made me a big ole bowl of Pimento Cheese with Velveeta, would I eat it? You bet your bottom dollar I would. And slap my chops. But, I will pass on the circus peanuts.
You’re gonna have to grate your cheese for this. I’ll be honest – I think my food processor has an option for grating…but I have NO clue how it works. And I don’t want to read the owner’s manual because I’m ornery like that. So, I grate on my box grater. I have a very bad history of grating the skin right off my knuckles. I’m not exactly suave in the kitchen. I finally broke down and bought a Kevlar glove…and it was one of my wiser purchases. No more bloody knuckles. Bloody cheese is worse than chunky cheese. Okay, I apologize for the visual.
This recipe relies on cream cheese and mayo for the nice creamy texture. Another honest point – we don’t like homemade mayonnaise. Yes, I have posted about it…but we just don’t like it. So, why should I make and consume something I don’t like? Don’t revoke my Whole Foods card since I just admitted I would eat Velveeta, binged on circus peanuts, and buy mayo. We don’t eat it enough for me to feel bad for buying mayo. I opt for Safflower Mayo instead of canola based mayo. Boom.
This mixes up right nice in a stand mixer – if you try to mix it by hand there will be lots of grunting. Mainly, I just like using my stand mixer for almost everything. I’m not sure if that qualifies me as lazy or genius. I’m choosing to think genius.
Note – this is very thick as-is. You can add milk to thin as you like. I leave mine thick and just kind of slab it on my bread. Or eat it with a spoon. I ain’t proud.
Mama’s Pimento Cheese
- 1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ounces diced pimentos, drained
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Milk to thin if desired
- Mix all together. Chill before serving.
Yield: 3 ½ cups