Friday, July 08, 2011

If you fry it, they will come...

The Spread

You know what's good?  Pimento cheese spread.  I can't remember the first time I was introduced to this stuff.  It might have been one of those weird things my best friend always bought back in college that scared me.  Like canned chili or Vienna sausages.  Something that would sit in the refrigerator, with its obscene color and texture and give me nightmares at night.  And I can't seem to remember what would ever compel me to try such a thing.  Seeing as how it falls into the "salad" category that freaks me out.  But somehow, somewhere, I was fed pimento cheese.  I think it must have been at a wedding or a party where they had little pimento cheese and white bread triangles for an appetizer.  However it happened, I got a good one.  It was homemade.  It didn't come from the store where they put some strange orange coloring in it.  And so began my love of pimento cheese.  I tried the store bought stuff once.  I'll never do it again.  It's really easy to make and it's one of those things that you do to your taste.  If you like spice, add some.  If you don't like a certain cheese, don't use it.  But do try to make this recipe.  It's delicious as a sandwich, served on crackers or spread on celery sticks and it's damn good fried (see below).  And it proves again, that I was a Southerner in another life.

Here's What You Need:
1 package of cream cheese, softened (the kind in the cardboard, not the tub)
2 cups of your favorite cheese (Cracker Barrel cheddar and aged white cheddar is what we used)
3/4 cup of mayo (or less if you're watching your figure...I'm not... I could care less!)
1 jar of pimentos (drained)
1/2 of a small onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
cayenne (to taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Vodka (til you're tipsy...just kidding...just a glug...and if you don't know what a glug is, than you don't need any vodka)

Here's What You Do:
I'm hoping you have a food processor with a cheese grater attachment...otherwise you will have to grate everything by hand, which is not hard, just painful and grueling!  Good luck to you.

Grate your cheese and onions in the food processor.  In a separate mixing bowl, mix your cream cheese with a hand mixture until it's creamy.  Add the grated cheeses to the cream cheese and mix together.  Add in mayo, garlic, and any spices you want to use and mix.  Taste.  Decide if you need something else and add it in, or just enjoy it.  I liked it best with crackers.  

You know what's even better than pimento cheese spread??  Fried pimento cheese balls.  Yep.  You got that right.  Make some pimento cheese, ball it up and fry it.  You'll have people begging you to make them.  Me and my step-dad, aka Bob "the Hammer" Bray were watching this show on television about the best fried foods and pimento cheese balls was one of them.  How could we pass up the opportunity if we were going to make pimento cheese?  Well, we couldn't.  So here's what we did.


We beat up a few eggs in one bowl, added some Panko breadcrumbs to another bowl.  Rolled the pimento cheese into balls.  Dipped the balls into the egg and then into the panko and then fried 'em up for about a minute in 350 degree oil.     


Karen said...

These were wonderful!

k said...

i have never had pimento that was not from a store. this sounds good! while not a southerner at heart nor a fan of fried food, this one will certainly be an exception! super idea! gotta try it next week. by the way, the picture of it looks great, good job!

Bianca said...

I would like some of those cheese balls. Right now.

Jess said...

Thanks K!

And Bianca...I caught up on your blog last some mighty tasty looking stuff on there!!

JJ said...

What?! I'm making this junk tonight!

Jess said...

Do it J, you won't be disappointed.

Leigh said...

it is delicious! I was privileged to try them when she was here...I ate about 10!

Peejay815 said...

I just had some at a restaurant in Chattanooga called Puckett’s & they were served on top of Hot Pepper Jelly that had been slightly warmed & was a softer, ungelled consistency & Oh! My! Lord!! Hence my search of the internet for a recipe, which has landed me here! I can’t wait to make these! I make my own pimento cheese all the time so these shouldn’t be hard! Yay! Thank you for the recipe!