In my humble opinion, there is absolutely nothing better than good, southern food. I think the overall explanation is that we southerners use everything in excess. No southerner ever cooked keeping in mind the old saying, "Everything in moderation." Nothing is in moderation in southern cooking. Nothing. That's why it's all so delicious. I also believe there's a great deal of love put into southern cooking (yes, an excess of love if you will). It's the kind of love only a grandmother could produce. I think that's why nine times out of 10 your grandma will make it better. It doesn't matter what "it" is, your version will not be as good.

That brings me to my grandmother's pimento cheese recipe. Let's be real: adding mayonnaise to cheese is excessive. But my grandma makes pimento cheese ALL the time. I doubt there are many occasions when she doesn't have a batch of it in her fridge. I foolishly waited 21 years of my life to try pimento cheese despite this occurrence. I will never know why. Thankfully I broke down and decided to have it on a burger last year. Talk about life-changing. Now I've had pimento cheese on everything. Sandwiches, burgers, mac and cheese, tater tots, you can see it's quite the healthy lifestyle change.

Maybe you're not a southerner. Maybe you've never tried pimento cheese. Maybe you think the idea of combining cheese and mayo is disgusting. But then again, maybe there's a part of you that thinks you could add a little southern spice to your life and it's at least worth a shot. After all, it's only three ingredients and southern food is all the rage these days in the foodie world.

That being said, my grandmother has very specific thoughts about these three ingredients. She may never have used exact measurements for the recipe, but there are a few finite rules to making her pimento cheese: it must be Duke's Mayonnaise, Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar (gold package), and diced pimentos (no brand, just don't get sliced). No, this is not any sort of endorsement. I wish. It's just tried and true southern cooking.

Let me know if you have any great ways to use pimento cheese that you think I probably haven't tried!

Grandmother's Pimento Cheese

1 10-oz package Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Duke's Mayonnaise
1-2 tbs diced pimentos

Combine grated cheddar, mayonnaise and pimentos in bowl. Mix with a spoon (or clean hands) until thoroughly combined. Add mayonnaise or more pimentos to suit your taste. Store in refrigerator.

Pimento cheese works well in all sorts of foods. Swap out regular cheese for pimento cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. Fill celery with it. Use it as a dip with chips. Top burgers with a tablespoon or two when they come off the grill. The list goes on.

To make a grilled cheese (as pictured), slather the outsides of two pieces of bread with butter. Spread pimento cheese on non-buttered side of one piece. Top with the other piece, keeping the butter on the outsides. Place on a pan over medium heat and flip to desired brownness on each side. Grab napkins. Slice and enjoy!


Beverly said... @ June 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Oh, I do love pimento cheese and your grandmama is right, it has to be Duke's (esp if making a tomato or cucumber sandwich!) Relish in Raleigh, NC has pimento cheese fritters on their appetizer menu. They serve them with hot pepper die for! The recipe was in the 6-24 News & Observer, you might be able to see it online.

Katherine said... @ June 27, 2012 at 6:06 AM

Definitely going to make this for my pimento cheese loving family!

Ellen B Cookery said... @ June 27, 2012 at 6:31 AM

I'd never want to argue with anyone's Grandma. They're always right. This looks and sounds wonderful!

Sarah said... @ June 28, 2012 at 8:21 AM

She'd love to hear that other people have the same strong feelings about that! I've never been to Relish, but that sounds absolutely incredible. I'm used to being in the Triangle where I could just go try it myself, but I will have to look that up so I can make it here!

Sarah said... @ June 28, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Watch out, next thing you know you'll be making it everyday! It's a slippery slope of deliciousness.

Sarah said... @ June 28, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Truth! When you get to a certain age you win every argument by default anyways.

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