Matt Moore, Southern Eats & Drinks Expert
Y’all can have the butter – just as long as you leave me the pimiento cheese!
I don’t have anything against butter per se, but I’d much rather slather my bread, biscuits (and maybe my body) with pimento cheese. Perhaps that’s a little excessive – but don’t count it out once you’ve had a few Dixie cocktails.
Down south, people often argue about what is truly “Southern.” Let me tell y’all – a big ole batch of pimiento cheese is as southern as sweet tea, big front porches, and Dixie Vodka.
Need a good appetizer? Check. Is your burger or fried egg sandwich missing something? Check. A dollop on top of warm apple pie? Check. Yes, pimiento cheese is the nectar of the Southern food gods – and a force to be reckoned with, ya hear?
Two deadly sins to avoid when you’re creating this beloved Southern staple:
First, in the same way that cornbread should not be sweet, sugar should NEVER be added to pimiento cheese. Sadly, I have seen this happen. Second, while I do love the amazing creation that is American cheese, please do not use it as your base of this dish. In fact, the sharper the cheddar, the better in my book.
So the next time you are hankering for some cheese and crackers, take it a step further and whip up a quick batch of pimiento cheese instead. Try this super simple, straightforward recipe, served alongside some toasted crostini. This recipe easily adapts to your taste buds, so make it yours. Like a little more spice? Up the cayenne. Want to add some more depth? Include some additional finely grated onion. The sky’s the limit.
In the vein of simplicity, try pairing your pimento with a super simple pep-you-up cocktail – the Dixie Dream.
You’ll be living the dream with a bite of this cheesy goodness, followed by the South’s best tasting vodka. What more can you ask for? Well, maybe an SEC national title for Christmas. Please, Santa?
Pimiento Cheese Crostini
- 1 (16-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ Vidalia or sweet onion
- 1 (4-oz.) can diced pimiento, drained
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
- 1 (12-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 50 (¼-inch-thick) slices
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish: finely chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 400°. Shred cheese through large holes of a box grater. Grate onion through small holes of grater to equal 1 tsp.; squeeze grated onion in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Combine cheese, onion, and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash ingredients until cheese softens and mixture is thoroughly blended.
- Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously brush tops of bread slices with oil, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- Spread cheese mixture generously over tops of toasted bread slices, and serve immediately.
- 1.5 oz. Dixie Mint Vodka
- 2 oz. Kahlua
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup
Add all ingredients to a rocks glass with one large ice cube, and stir gently.