Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese sandwiches are a beloved Southern treat, and a hot-weather lunchtime "comfort food" for me. Although you can find containers of pimento cheese at supermarkets, nothing beats the homemade kind. And forget about using whole wheat or other "healthy" bread for this old-fashioned delicacy: plain ol' white bread is the way to go! I've also been known to enjoy Pimento Cheese as a veggie dip or with crackers (and I confess that I do use "gourmet" or whole-grain crackers). Here is a spiced-up version of Pimento Cheese spread. A good medium-heat hot sauce works best in this recipe.

3 Tbs plain flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
Milk (whole or reduced fat) - just enough to make a paste with flour & sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Dash (or more, to taste) of hot pepper sauce like Durn Good Hot Sauce
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk (whole or reduced fat)

1/2 lb grated mild cheddar or yellow hoop cheese
2 oz jar pimiento peppers, drained & chopped
2 Tbs butter (the real thing), melted

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the flour, sugar and just enough milk to make a paste. Then stir in the next 6 ingredients and cook, stirring, until thick. Remove from heat and add the melted butter, cheese and pimientos. Stir well and transfer into a container with a lid, then refrigerate for several hours until cool (overnight is best). Enjoy as a sandwich spread, veggie dip or with crackers.

Zestfully yours,

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