Methods for Making Homemade Pimento Cheese

Written by seamus islwyn
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Methods for Making Homemade Pimento Cheese
Pimento is the familiar red filling in cocktail olives. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pimento cheese is a seasoned mixture of shredded cheeses, usually Cheddar and Monterey Jack, pickled sweet peppers and mayonnaise. Use this speciality of the southern U.S. as a dip, spread it on a hamburger or make it into a grilled cheese sandwich. Different variations of pimento cheese might include garlic, hot peppers, onions or pickles; whatever ingredients you use, there are several methods for combining them.

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Making homemade pimento cheese by hand takes some effort, but requires the fewest utensils and least clean-up. Mix the cheeses together first, then toss them with the pimentos and stir in the mayonnaise. Stir all the ingredients together gently at first, then mash the pimento cheese with a fork to break up the shreds of cheese. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, hot sauce and any other seasonings you're using.

Electric Mixer

A hand mixer makes it easier to blend the cheese and pimentos. The mixer's beaters toss and aerate the cheese blend, so pimento cheese made with a hand mixer may have a lighter consistency. However, making homemade pimento cheese with a hand mixer does require some effort, especially if you're making a large batch of cheese. You can also use a stand mixer to blend the pimento cheese. If you're adding cream cheese to your pimento cheese, use a hand mixer to "cream" the cheese first, as you would butter.

Food Processor

Mixing pimento cheese in a food processor requires the least effort of any method, but the final product's texture will be different, as the food processor's blade slices, rather than crushes, the shredded cheese. Pimento cheese made in a food processor is much smoother than pimento cheese mixed by hand; if you want to preserve some of the cheese's coarse texture, try pressing and releasing the "Pulse" button on the food processor several times instead of using the "On" button.

Meat Grinder

If you happen to have a hand-cranked meat grinder, you can use it to shred the cheese, cut up the pimentos, then mix the two together. Feed the cheeses through the grinder first, then the pimentos, then the two ingredients together. This method is easy and fun; however, it requires a lot of post-grinding cleaning, and you'll still have to mix the mayonnaise and seasonings in by hand.

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