Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jalapeno Garlic Pimento Cheese

We've had two days of highs at least 10 degrees above freezing so are pretending that Spring is here. And that means it is time to grill. So what if W had to dig a trench through the snow so that DH could get to the grill?

Burgers sounded like an easy choice for tonight -- B has a basketball game so he and DH won't be home until around 7. But then I decided that we shouldn't do burgers without at least experimenting a little with something that we might want to use on our Build a Better Burger submission. Earlier this week, I was reading about the reign of the classic burger at last month's Rachel Ray Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. That got me thinking about ways to kick up a classic cheese burger without adding things like lemons, fennel and figs which have been added to the winning burger in recent years. I've been thinking about using pimento cheese, which is apparently done some in South Carolina, and has been used in past years by some unsuccessful BABB contestants. Having looked at their recipes though, I have to say that they are making some pretty anemic pimento cheese.
Isn't that a cool old strainer? I am not sure if it came from my grandmother's house or DH's.

The inspiration for my pimento cheese is some pimento cheese we picked up from a deli around the corner from my sister's house about 20 years ago when she lived in Dallas. That deli took pimento cheese to a whole new level! I have several variations that I make, but here is tonight's version.

Jalapeno Garlic Pimento Cheese

  • 1/2 pound of good quality sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, blanched and minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 6 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of mayo ( I like Duke's)
  • 2 ounce jar of diced pimento
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix really well.
  2. Taste and adjust the level of heat, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

I've served this as a dip with celery and wheat thins to raves.

It also makes a great lunch on some hearty wheat bread with lettuce and a slice of tomato. We'll see how it works on a burger...

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Update: today we made pimento cheese Panini for lunch. Seriously yummy!