Friday, July 13, 2007

Recipe Request

Pennie asked for the pimiento cheese recipe previously. Note that you can spell it pimento and pimiento. I've written about Pimento Cheese before but I never tire of it. My recipe is an amalgamation of two of the finalists in the Southern Foodways Alliance 2003 Pimento Cheese Invitational. That is right. There was a Pimento Cheese Invitational. SFA is an awesome website if you like reading about southern food and the relationship people in the south have with their food. I wish I had been born in the south sometimes. I dream about taking long drives to visit eccentric relatives with a picnic lunch of cold fried chicken, deviled eggs, and thick slices of devil's food cake. All of you who actually live in the south are probably like "uh, yeah, that never happens" but I can dream. The best pimiento cheese sandwich I have ever had was from the Fig Tree Bakery in Ocracoke, North Carolina. When we used to vacation there, we'd stop at this bakery on the way to the beach to get sandwiches for lunch. I'd tuck my wax paper wrapped treasure into the basket of my big old beachbike next to a few old-timey Cokes in glass bottles and off we'd go. Munching on pimento cheese with your feet dug into the sand on Ocracoke Island is pretty close to pure bliss. I know, I'm weird.

Many of the recipes I have seen recommend homemade mayonnaise. I second this recommendation. It makes a big difference. In lieu of homemade, Dukes (you lucky southerners you!) is probably the best and then Hellman's. And bonus points if you eat it on toasted slices of homemade bread with the crusts cut off. I also like to eat it with those really thin sesame crackers you can get at the grocery store.

These were the three finalists in the SFA competition and this is basically Nana's recipe with amounts tailored to my taste:

One pound extra sharp cheddar (preferably yellow. I just think Pimiento cheese should be yellow)

1 4 oz. jar pimientos, undrained

onion powder

cayenne pepper

worcestershire sauce

pinch sugar

2/3 cup mayo

Hand grate the cheddar with a box grater. Dice up pimientos a little but not so much that they completely disappear. Combine all rest of ingredients together, adding spices to taste. I think I add a little salt and pepper too. Yummy.

I have yet to try it grilled though. The photo is from the website Road Food and was taken at the Henpeck Market in Frankline Tennessee. All reviewers agreed that the grilled pimiento cheese sandwich was the standout at the eatery. How good does that look?


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Just how eccentric would the relatives have to be, Meresy?
And, what are your thoughts on substituting Red Velvet cake for Devil's Food?

I'd love to see Okracoke again - it's been years~thanks for the recipe.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

2:27 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Red Velvet Cake would be even more southern. A definite good choice. You might not recognize Ocracoke if you haven't been there in years. Its a little different.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

And it's all low-fat, right? :o)

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to try this one! And you know, I haven't thought of devil's food cake in a long time! Is that a southern thing?

Now I am hungry for deviled eggs!

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you...thank you...thank you!!! I gonna make some this week and let you know how it tastes.

Oh..and growing up in the south and going to many a picnic you can't forget the cobler (made with whatever fruit is in season) and the sweet tea (preferably with mint from the garden).

I've learned to never order iced tea up here...yuck!! That's why I've become a lemonade addict.

12:46 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

oh right, cobbler! Or those peach hand pies, they are southern right?

And Faith, no, not a all low-fat. In fact the polar opposite of low fat. But so very good and okay for a special treat every now and then.

4:10 PM  
Blogger kris said...

This recipe looks like a "must try" - the grilled version has my juices flowing! Your picnic sounds heavenly - and cuz I love desserts, I think I'd opt for the devil's food cake AND peach cobbler - yum, yum!

12:24 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

well, I'd hardly qualify for any southern connections, but this has my mouth watering too.

10:52 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

ooh....mouth watering. That sandwich looks incredible. All this talk of red velvet and peach pies has me hungry! Here's my favorite red velvet recipe.

10:54 PM  

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