There are very few foods that my born and bred Southern husband seems to feel nostalgic about, but pimento cheese is one of them. I had never heard of the stuff until I moved to North Carolina in my twenties, and I began to see tubs of the salmon-colored goop in the supermarket. I lumped it together with all the other Southern foods that are objectionable to the mayonnaise-adverse (I do love real homemade mayonnaise—just not the jarred stuff).
Over time, I was served some homemade pimento cheese made with real cheddar cheese, and I began to see the appeal, but it was still too sweet for my personal tastes. A few years ago, long after we had left North Carolina, I decided to try to make pimento cheese as a surprise for Jack. Some online research led me to add Worcestershire and minced green onion which boosted the flavor a bit. Cutting back on the mayonnaise and adding a few good shakes of hot sauce made it into something I gobbled down right alongside Jack.
Recently, we were out of traditional hot sauce, so I grabbed the Southeast Asian chili-sauce, Sriracha (full disclosure— I put Sriracha on everything—my son calls it ‘Mom sauce’). Jack declared it the best pimento cheese yet.
Our Pimento Cheese
1 hard-packed cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 2 oz jar diced pimentos, drained slightly
1-2 green onions, minced
1 scant tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste (or use a few dashes of hot sauce)
dash Worcestershire sauce
dash salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients and season to taste. Serve with crackers and celery or as a sandwich spread or burger topping. Keeps well in airtight jar in the fridge, but it never lasts that long around here!
Wishing everyone happiness during their winter celebrations.