Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Pinch of This & That

In the Deep South USA, one of the most ubiquitous items found at any munchie function is Pimento Cheese.  Some folks might say Pimento and Cheese, but more often it's Pimento Cheese; it's a Southern thing, to be sure. I make this for our monthly birthday party at my office.  Replete with a gorgeous custom made cake, each person choosing to participate, brings a dish to the party.  We have lots of appetizers and sweet treats, too.  It's a delightful nibble fest.  I have several things I enjoy making, but the one that gets the most requests is, you guessed it, my Pimento Cheese.  Given that, I thought I'd showcase it here. 

Anny's Pimento Cheese

1 block (10 ounce) Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar Cracker Barrel cheese 
1/4 to 1/2 small onion
Fresh Chives or green onion tops
Big pinch Dill weed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Celery seed
Black Pepper
1 jar (4 ounce) pimento

Grate the block of cheese and add to a mixing bowl.  Grate or finely mince the onion and add to the bowl.  Slice very thinly the chives or green onion tops (a few chives or one nice green onion top is enough) and add in.  Pour the pimentos over, including the liquid.  Sprinkle into the bowl, the dill weed, celery seed and black pepper (the addition of these ingredients are subject to your preference in the amount you use).  Add enough mayonnaise (good mayonnaise-no salad dressing here) to moisten or to your taste.  Cover and chill for spreading on crackers or use as a sandwich filling.
 Note: you may also use 1/2 block Extra Sharp Cheddar and 1/2 block Monterey Jack if you like that combination, but either way is good. 

There are twists we can make in our everyday food preparation that make the end result a little different, not so boring.  Insignificant though they may be, taking a little extra effort to make something simple (only two main ingredients) then adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that can make a dish which elicits recipe requests.  I like to serve my pot of Pimento Cheese with fruit, some great crackers and a nice bottle of wine; then Tuesday isn't so Tuesday anymore.

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