Monday, August 30, 2010

Pimento Cheese

Remember I told you I canned pimentoes?  This all started when I helped my friend Rebecca move and I tasted her dad's amazing pimento cheese spread.  I tried to be nice, but I was very insistent that I have the recipe.  He looked me in the eye and said it started with canning pimentoes (pickled red bell pepper - I guess I thought those red bits in the middle of green olives just came with the package, but no, they are a condiment in their own right). Pimento cheese spread is a Southern thing, I learned, although my husband said he has seen it for sale in Northern deli cases.  But I know the Virginian recipe I got from Rebecca's dad is superior.

I made the first batch of pimento cheese spread last night, to go with our Sunday night meal of popcorn.  It's not very photogenic, and the Sunday night meal is prone to strangeness as you can see Genevieve eating her popcorn out of a wooden box.

We walked downtown for ice cream then, which I intended to take a photo of since it's been such a lovely summer tradition for us.  But Ben had a total meltdown in the ice cream shop and so I only remembered my camera when the children stopped to play an outside piano on the way home. . . .which has also been a  lovely summer tradition.

Pimento Cheese Spread - - with thanks to Ben S. and his cousin in the Shenandoah Valley
1/2 c. mayo
3/4 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 small onion, minced
1 cup minced pimentoes
1/2 c. salad olives, diced
Tabasco to taste

Mix together.  Eat on bread or crackers or straight out of the bowl when no one's looking. (If you want, I will post the recipe for canning the pimentoes too).

I want you to know that we do still eat Sunday dinner, but it's mostly repeats of meals I've already posted on.  Let's just say when I have a new, photogenic Sunday dinner, I will post on that.  Otherwise you should assume we are fine and eating big Sunday dinners.


12 large red peppers, ground (I used my food processor)
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. salt
2 c. vinegar

Combine and simmer one hour.
Pack hot pimentos into hot 1/2 pint jars, topping immediately with heated lids and rings.  Allow to cool and check seal.  This is known as open-kettle canning and is not generally recommended by the officials anymore, but I feel comfortable doing it for pickled things.  If you are not comfortable, definitely process in a hot water bath for whatever period of time you would do pickles.


Jennifer Jo said...

What a fun piano!

I would be interested in the recipe for the canned pimientos. Can't promise I'll make it, but I'm a little hooked on recipe reading, and you never know...

Anonymous said...

I love Uncle Ben's pimiento cheese. One of my favorite ways to eat it is to make a tuna melt and use that as the cheese on top of the tuna. Delicious!

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten all about pimiento cheese, so thank you very much for the reminder. Our Sunday night dinner is very often popcorn and an assortment of snippets from leftovers. In my more sophisticated moments I call it tapas. I'm going to take your daughter's suggestion and will use a wooden box next time to add to the ambiance.

Deanna Beth said...

Honestly, I had no idea that's what pimentos were.

Margo said...

Punk, "tapas"!?!! That's brilliant! We have the exact same meal Sunday night, so I'm going to mimic you further.

Kyle, I'm going to try that tuna melt. Thanks!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Ack! After a week of no blogging or blog reading I'm soooo behind! My mom makes the best, best, best pimento cheese... ever!

I love that outdoor piano.

Laura said...

My pimento cheese recipe is very similar to yours - and I love pimento cheese.

Never thought about canning the peppers for pimentos myself, though. That's a good idea!

Margo said...

Christian, you Southerner, do tell!! The recipe I got is from Virginia. Is yours a family secret or can you share?