Popular cheese now enjoying an affluent status

Published 9:19 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon


Known as caviar of the Carolinas, the lowbrow pimiento cheese we enjoyed as kids, slathered on plain, white bread, now enjoys upper crust status.

Whether topped, stuffed, spread, dipped, or spread on toasted, artisanal breads or biscuits, the classic combination of tangy, sharp cheese and aromatic sweet chili peppers is an iconic southern food. Paired with fresh soup, the duo of savory cheese and sweet fruit flavor has a reputation for upstaging other sandwich and soup combos with little effort.

Indeed, it does.


2 cups (16 oz.) grated sharp    


½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup drained, chopped pimientos

¼ cup green onions (whole)

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cayenne

Dash of hot sauce

In a mixer, combine cheese, mayonnaise, peppers, and onions and mix slowly. Blend in remaining ingredients.


1 ½ cups mayonnaise

4 oz. drained, chopped pimiento

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. yellow grated onion

1 cup (8oz.) finely grated, extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup (8 oz.) coarsely grated, sharp cheddar cheese

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

In a mixer, combine mayonnaise, pimiento, Worcestershire and onion. Add cheese and pepper, and mix well at slow speed.  Bake a single layer of chopped pecans in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or until toasted. Stir to ensure even browning. Fold in toasted pecans until blended.


1 beaten egg

½ cup sugar

½ Tbsp. flour

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. prepared mustard

¼ cup water

¼ cup vinegar

1 Tbsp. softened butter

1 lb. chopped Velveeta cheese

1 cup (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups (16 oz.) shredded medium cheddar cheese

4 oz. drained, chopped pimientos

Mayonnaise (optional)

In a saucepan, combine beaten egg, sugar, flour, salt, and prepared mustard. Stir in the water, vinegar, and butter. Cook over medium heat while stirring just until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and add Velveeta, stirring until blended. Stir in cheddar cheese and pimientos.  Cool. Add additional mayonnaise if you prefer smoother consistency.


1 cup (4 oz.) shredded smoked gouda cheese

1 cup (4oz.) shredded white cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 oz.) grated parmesan cheese

4 oz. drained, chopped pimientos

½ cup of mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. honey

In a mixer, combine the cheese, pimientos, mayonnaise, and honey and mix well. Add additional mayonnaise if you prefer smoother consistency.


12 oz. grated, extra sharp, white cheddar cheese

8 oz. grated, mild cheddar cheese

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup grated gorgonzola cheese

2-4oz. drained jars of pimiento

2 tsp. sweet pickle juice

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. Durkees sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a mixing bowl, grate the cheese on fine side of grater. Drain pimientos and mash into the cheese with fork. Add the pickle juice, mayonnaise and Durkees. Mix well.


4 oz. cream cheese

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

4 Tbsp. drained pimiento

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. Worcestershire

1 tsp. hot sauce

1 tsp. dry mustard

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

In a mixing bowl, grate cheeses. Add pimientos and mash into the cheese with a fork. Add mayonnaise, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Mix well. Add mustard, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper and mix well. Chill.


1 cup buttermilk

1 lime zest

3 tsp. hot sauce

1 tsp. salt

2-sliced ½ inch green tomatoes

1 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable oil

In a mixer, combine the buttermilk, lime zest, hot sauce, and salt. Add the tomatoes and marinade for several hours or overnight. When ready to prepare, mix the cornmeal with pepper and salt. In a skillet, heat the oil until hot. Coat tomato slices in cornmeal mixture. Drop each slice in the hot oil and fry one side 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook 2 minutes on other side. Drain on a paper towel and salt.


2 envelopes dry yeast

½ cup warm water

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

Melted salted butter

In one bowl, dissolve yeast in the water. In another bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening a little at a time. Add the buttermilk and yeast mixture. Knead until smooth. Roll out on a floured surface and cut with a 1 inch biscuit cutter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 13 minutes or until light brown on top. Brush with melted butter and stuff with pimiento cheese. Top with fried green tomato.


3 large, roasted, seeded red peppers

32 oz. can drained stewed tomatoes

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 minced garlic cloves

3 cups chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a processor, combine peppers and tomatoes and puree. In a skillet, heat garlic in olive oil. Stir in pepper puree, chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled.


2 large ripe, peeled, pitted avocados

1 medium peeled, seeded cucumber

3 chopped green onions

1¼ cup chicken broth

1 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

In a processor, combine all ingredients and puree. Chill.


2 small chopped cantaloupes

1 juiced lime

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup sugar

½ cup Champagne (optional)

In a processor, combine the cantaloupe, lime juice, and ¼ cup of sugar and process until smooth. In a mixer, beat the cream until thickened. Add ¼ cup sugar and nutmeg. Fold in lime zest. Add the cantaloupe mixture to the cream and mix just until blended. Chill.


3 cups trimmed strawberries

1 cup half and half

½ cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. Triple Sec (optional)

In a processor, puree strawberries, cream, and yogurt. Add sugar and Triple Sec to taste. Chill.


1 ½ lbs. peeled, pitted, sliced fresh peaches

½ fresh trimmed pineapple

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup pineapple juice

2 cups plain yogurt

½ cup dry white wine

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a processor, combine peaches and pineapple and puree until smooth. Add the juices, yogurt, and wine, and blend well. Strain soup. Chill.


2 Tbsp. butter

1 diced yellow onion

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. paprika

1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried

3 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried

2 sprigs chopped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

Dash of cloves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 lbs. peeled, seeded, chopped, fresh tomatoes or 35 oz. can

¾ Tbsp. port, dry white wine or dry sherry

In a skillet, melt butter and saute onion until soft. Mix in the flour and paprika and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients except port. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Remove bay leaf. In a processor, puree until smooth. Return to pot and add port before serving. Garnish with more chopped parsley and basil. Serve warm or room temperature.


2 tsp. melted, salted butter.

1/3 cup slivered almonds

4 Tbsp. melted salted butter

1 chopped onion

8 peeled, cored, sliced cooking apples

4 cups beef broth

4 Tbsp. dry sherry

1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 1 Tbsp. water

In a saucepan, melt butter and saute almonds in butter for 2 minutes and set aside. Melt butter and cook onion 3 minutes until tender. Add apple slices and cook until apples are tender. Add broth and sherry and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cornstarch and cook until thickened. In a processor, puree soup until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup warm with almonds on top.


2 ½ Tbsp. butter

1 small chopped onion

1 ½ tsp. oregano

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2-15oz. cans diced tomatoes

2 ½ cups chicken stock

¾ cup half and half

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a pot, saute onion and oregano in butter until soft. Stir in the flour. Add the stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. In a processor, puree tomato mixture. Return mixture to pot and blend in half and half. Season to taste.


6 7-inch diameter pita breads cut into 8 triangles

3 Tbsp. olive oil

Place triangles on a baking sheet in a single layer, placing them close together.  Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 6 minutes on each side or until golden.


3 cups cubed bread

2 tsp. chopped parsley

3 minced garlic cloves

6 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine bread, parsley, and garlic and gently mix. Drizzle with oil. Place on a baking sheet and salt and pepper. Bake in a 250 degree oven 1 hr. and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Stir a few times while baking.

Hint: As an artist, I enjoy contrasting the color and flavor of cheeses and fruits. Combine vegetable/fruit flavored soups by adding a few baby greens on top along with a few sliced red onions, olives, thinly sliced cucumbers, corn salsa, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled cheeses, bacon bits, and corn chips or croutons. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve. Using premium mayo in your pimiento cheese is a culinary commandment.