Every time I make pimiento cheese for a party, it never fails to to be a hit. Folks always seem to be glad to see this old friend. Of course, it has to be homemade, not a tub of sweet orange goop from the grocery store. Good quality cheese does matter. I like to combine two colors of cheddar with different flavor profiles, one mild and one sharp (and sometimes spicy pepper Jack). Lynne Tolley, the great-grandniece of Jack Daniel’s and proprietress of Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House and my co-author of the new Jack Daniel’s Cookbook, has two other secrets for perfect pimiento cheese–one, don’t drain the juice from the jar of pimientos, and two, always add a good pinch of sugar.
In fact, when I’ve been back in the kitchen at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House it seems to me a pinch of sugar is the secret ingredient to lots of their recipes. That, and of course, their home town product her Uncle Jack’s famous whiskey!
Serve pimiento cheese with crackers, or I like to pair it with light green celery, green grapes and green apple slices at cocktail hour. There’s something fun pairing the two secondary colors, orange and green, on a platter.
- 1/2 pound mild yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (two cups)
- 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (two cups)
- Dash Worcestershire sauce
- Dash hot pepper sauce
- 1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, with the juice
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup real mayonnaise
- Pinch of sugar
Blend all the ingredients together with a fork in a medium mixing bowl.
Store pimiento cheese covered in the refrigerator. Makes about four cups.