As so many of you know, I love pimento cheese, making it often and constantly searching for new ways to make it and use it. I was delighted when I discovered that a Pimento Cheese Recipe book was being printed… I love “Google Alerts” almost as much as I love pimento cheese… OK… that’s a stretch but I do like google alerts… how else would I learn about the most recent mayhem to strike at Chuck E. Cheese? But I digress.
Perre Coleman “PC” Magness grew up in the South but did not grow up with pimento cheese as a household staple… what a waste of years she could have been enjoying this Southern delicacy. In her twenties, she began to eat it, mostly at weddings and baby showers, and discovered that pimento cheese is good. To quote her “Stupid Good”. And one of her life’s journeys began…becoming a pimento cheese “expert”.
Along this journey she found that many families protect their recipes the way ball players protect their family jewels. She uncovered that folks do more with pimento cheese than put it between two slices of plain white bread, although if that’s the only place you put it, then you’re doing just fine.
PC, as in her name and not necessarily the cheese spread, has sussed out, tried out and adapted 50 recipes and ways to make and serve pimento cheese in her new book: Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook: 50 Recipes from Snacks to Main Dishes Inspired by the Classic Southern Favorite. (You can order it by clicking on the icon below and please do; it helps PC and it helps me by putting a few cents – and truly, only a “few” – in my pocket… not sure how many it puts in PC’s).
As she explains, Pimento Cheese only needs three basic ingredients: Cheese, Pimentos and Mayonaise. If you stick with quality cheese (Cheddar being the Southerner’s first choice) and quality mayonaise (not that salad dressing crap but homemade – recipe included in the book – or either Duke’s or Hellman’s known as Best Foods in the West) you are pretty much guaranteed success.
But from these three basic ingredients there are so many ways to mess around and still not screw up the goodness of Pimento Cheese.
Here are a few additions she suggests adding to the basics:
Jalapeno or any other hot peppers, to add a little kick
- Bacon – and isn’t everything better with bacon?
- Roasted Garlic
In addition to recipes for basic Pimento Cheese, PC has recipes for Appetizers and Main Courses which include:
- Pimento cheese-stuffed eggs
- Savory cheesecake
- Pimento Cheese Chicken Pot Pie
- Pimento Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
- and… Pigs in Pimento Cheese Blankets
There is something for everyone in this book from those who love Pimento Cheese more than their dog to those who have yet to experience this spread we Southerners call “Southern Pate”.
I bought Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook for my kindle and it was $9.99. Today it is $8.89 at amazon; less than a quarter a recipe. It is available in paperback for $21.99; also a bargain.
My comment: although PC does say there are commercial Pimento Cheeses worth their mayo on the market, I have only found two in all my travels: Tom’s Tiny Kitchen Pimento Cheese and Palmetto Cheese Spreads. I assume there are others, but I haven’t found any that beat these or the ones that come out of my kitchen using PC’s recipes and my own… but what do I know… I only spent 161 nights in hotels in 21 states last year… most of them south of the Mason-Dixon line…