11/22/11

Pimento Cheese Month


I'm going to regret this.  It's late and I've only just started typing.  I rarely see the other side of 10pm these days and here I am, pondering pimento cheese.  

According to Garden & Gun Magazine, the blog Gurgling Cod has declared November is National Pimento Cheese Awareness Month and who am I to argue?  I saw this month as a perfect time to declare my love and I found the stars aligned on this particular topic for several reasons:
  1. It started many Thanksgivings ago: a fondness for pimento cheese that began with the Kraft Pimento Spread version.  It featured annually in our Thanksgiving dinners, starring in a condiment tray stuffed into celery sticks and sitting next to black olives.  We always had the blue cheese version as well to spice things up.
  2. Earlier this spring, on our road trip to Blackberry Farm, we stopped outside of Lexington Kentucky at The Wallace Station where I feasted on Sammi's Pimiento Cheese Burger.  I dodged bumble bees on their back porch while devouring the treat.
  3. Over the summer, during one of many business trips to San Francisco, my colleague landed us a table at his friend, Scott Youkilis' restaurant, Hog & Rocks.  It turned out the two of us went to IU together and I felt compelled to share one of his dishes since I adored it so much.  Beyond the terrific oysters, lots of pig and a finale of yummy rum, what stood out was his pimento cheese.  I recently begged him for the recipe and made my very own for the first time.  
Pimento cheese is a Southern favorite, and it is the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday in front of the TV watching football and knocking back a few O'Doul's.

This recipe calls for Mahon Reserva, which I found at Whole Foods, but you can substitute it with 1/2 lb of aged cheddar and 1/2 lb of gouda, as Scott suggested.

Pimento Cheese
Adapted from Scott Youkilis at  Hog & Rocks 

1lb Mahon Reserva cheese, grated
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups piquillo peppers, minced
2 cups mayonnaise
1 bunch of chives, minced
freshly cracked black pepper
kosher salt to taste

If you can't find the piquillo peppers, try mixing a small jar of pimento peppers and roasted red peppers- both can be found in jars in better supermarkets.

Mix all the ingredients and season to taste.  Serve with crackers or sliced fresh bread (and an O'Doul's Amber, if you're pregnant, like me.)  Please note, beer advocate.com rated O'Doul's Amber a D+ at best, but what do those guys know??

I thought this southern appetizer spread was the perfect pre-cursor to a very Southern-themed Thanksgiving menu that my sister and I are currently preparing for.  Her husband, Andy, is smoking our turkey this year.  It's been tried and tested, so we'll be making many southern dishes to accompany the smokiness- many from Sam Beall's beautiful Blackberry Farm Cookbook.  We'll be doing our best to avoid Stove-top stuffing and too many casseroles with cream of mushroom soup.

Get ready for bacon glazed carrots with wilted Romaine, kale coleslaw with buttermilk - chive dressing, cranberry compote with dried cherries, stewed apples, sausage & cornbread stuffing.  Last but not least- a sweet potato pie.  Oh sweet Tennessee!! Here I come...at least in our hearts and our stomachs from our Thanksgiving table up here in windy Chicago.


6 comments:

  1. Delicious Cheese Taste!
    Happy New Year.
    Have a nice Time in Next Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed every page on your blog, I think you are is creative

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your enthuiasm and writing style. I am looking forward on reading the next hub. Rated up.

    ReplyDelete