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Think ‘zesty grilled cheese sandwich, mighty burger topping, and bestie atop saltines’ when you think Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese.
Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese
Pimento Cheese tastes like the many ingredients that go into it like tangy mayo, zippy pimentos, and cheddar cheese of course. But it’s not all of those things alone, rather together. And those flavors become vivid given time to meld. What results is intense and creamy and party-ready.
If you have never had Pimento Cheese, then you have no way of knowing what you’re missing. For those of you who have had Pimento Cheese, YOU know how addictive and insanely good this stuff really is! And today’s method for Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese is all the more flavorful, enhanced by the addition of cayenne.
For this BEST southern pimento cheese recipe, I’m swapping yellow cheddar for a sharp aged white, and I’m grating it myself which is key. In addition to the scant amount of mayonnaise, I’m also introducing cream cheese which is going to make this super spreadable.
I’m already salivating for the burger I intend to use this on tomorrow night, or the epic grilled cheese I’ll plan for lunch, but until then, I’m reaching for some tried and true Saltines and Ritz crackers for snacking RIGHT NOW! Serve a little of this crowd favorite as an easy appetizer at your Friday night back porch bash.
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Piquant [ˈpēkənt, ˈpēkänt] ADJECTIVE Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.
Pimento cheese has been referred to as the “pâté of the south,” the “dip of Dixie,” and also “Carolina caviar.” However you refer to it, it’s some good eatin’ right here folks. Nothing fancy but 100% southern. This cheese is fairly freaking amazing whipped, too! I know because I use it in the method for Classic Tomato Crostini in lieu of feta 😉
I was introduced to this stuff of dreams even before I made my move southward. A tiny bar in Frenchtown, New Jersey had a chef who’d gone through Charleston’s then Johnson & Wales University for culinary arts and was making a name for himself above the Mason Dixon Line. His skills did not disappoint…
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese? Check The List!
block of aged extra sharp white cheddar
fresh cracked black pepper
diced jalapeño pepper
replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with yellow aged sharp cheddar cheese
replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with Monterey Jack or Monterey Pepper Jack
small amount of liquid from the pimentos
How This Recipe Came About…
Simply put, my obsession with My Three Sons Spicy White Cheddar Pimento Cheese. NOT COMPLAINING, but the tubs are small and expensive. Worth every damn penny, though. I set out to recreate their flavor profile ‘in bulk’ to be able to serve it for a crowd.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
So, it’s not really ‘southern’ the minute you start adding in ANYTHING aside from cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimentos. PERIOD. However, that does not mean it isn’t just as good with ad-ins that make sense for your eaters.
If you want things a bit more colorful, replace about a half cup of the white cheddar with aged yellow cheddar. And if you want zestier, consider a tablespoon-ish of the liquid from the jarred diced pimentos. Fresh chives are absolutely delicious. And Pepper Jack or diced jalapeño will drive you to the brink with no stoplights!
What Is Pimento Cheese?
Pimento Cheese or cheddar and pimento spread as it’s sometimes referred to, is a southern spread or sandwich relish made with cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. Everything imaginable is done with pimento cheese. I adore recipes with white cheddar cheese, so this is a saver.
How To Serve Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese?
Cutting the crust off white bread and lathering two pieces up with this homemade deliciousness makes for a fancy tea sandwich. Using an ice cream scoop to plop a dollop atop a grilled beef burger is also a popular way to enjoy. Don’t even get me started on grilled cheese sandwiches made with a layer of pimento cheese…
For me, less is best. I am satisfied with my homemade gourmet pimento cheese spread on Ritz Crackers, a glass of wine in my other hand. I also SERIOUSLY enjoy a batch of my Southern Deviled Eggs With Pimento Cheese mixed right into the filling.
I stir it until it’s VERY SMOOTH which makes the eggs entirely silky and ridiculously delicious. I go out of my way to make this southern staple as tangy and sharp as I absolutely can.
What Is The Best Sharp White Cheddar Cheese?
In this method, it means swapping my yellow cheddar with white cheddar. And, white cheddar that is SHARP and AGED. Sharp white cheddar cheese is aged for longer than the milder cheddars, and it tends to be slightly firmer and more crumbly than those with less sharpness.
Any aged cheddar will be piquant or sharp-tasting. I am not brand-loyal, so my recommendation is to grab whatever is easy at the grocery or hit up your cheesemonger for something epic. I’m going for a block of super aged from my monger so I can grate it myself which is key. Hey, nothing good ever comes easy guys.
Can Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Be Made Ahead?
Absolutely. I like to assemble and then refrigerate to allow the flavors time to mingle, as they just keep getting better. PRO TIP: if you’re serving say poolside and have a few of the quilted 4 ounce canning jars, I love stuffing them full of Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese and handing one to each person along with a spreader and a bag of crackers for ‘self service!’
How Long Will Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Keep?
Made ahead, Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container. I recommend giving it a good stir before serving.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese
- box grater or food processor with shred/grate attachment
- 1 8-ounce block aged extra sharp white cheddar cheese cold
- ¼ cup cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup jarred pimentos drained, liquid reserved IF using as an add-in
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper begin with 1/4 teaspoon and adjust to taste
- Kosher salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, place the white cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, diced pimentos, mayonnaise and cayenne over the cheddar cheese. If using any add-ins, add them now. Using the tines of a fork, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the pimento cheese to a jar, plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the fridge. The flavors deepen the longer the cheese has to sit. Alternatively, the cheese may be served immediately.
- Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese works well with aromatic white wines, such as a Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer beer, reach for a golden ale or a high quality lager.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.