The Masters golf event may be over. But in the spring, golf and pimento cheese are never over.
Besides barbecue, pimento cheese riles up more people than not. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about pimento cheese.
Above the Mason-Dixon Line, pimento cheese is still an oddity of the South, but I think the world is beginning to come around. Pimento cheese is showing up on restaurant menus. While pimento cheese is still widely used as sandwiches or a dip for crackers, it can add some good-tasting craziness to other dishes. A grilled pimento cheese sandwich is a taste of heaven. Stir some into a pot of grits or mashed potatoes. Top hot, fried green tomatoes with it, and let it ooze and mingle. Pull a page from Ben and Karen Barker and stuff it in pickled okra, as they like to call it, “Dixie Tapas.”
White bread, pimento cheese and watching golf on the TV – in spirit and food, you’ll be closer to the dogwoods and azaleas of Augusta.
I’ve already started to duck, because I know this recipe will not suit all, and nor should it be considered the epitome of pimento cheese. I like it. Maybe you will too.
A Classic Pimento Cheese
If you have a food processor, this comes together easily.
3-4 cups grated white sharp cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) jar whole pimentos, drained
Mayonnaise as needed
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Fit your food processor with a metal blade. Add the cheese and pimentos. Pulse several times to combine. Add about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and pulse again. For a creamier pimento cheese, add more mayo.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is well blended. Remove from the food processor to a container with a cover. You can eat it now or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with: As a sandwich, or with crackers and celery sticks
To drink: Keep the theme and have an “Arnold Palmer,” half iced tea and half lemonade.
Yield: About 1 pint.