It is finally that Goldilocks time of year here in Nashville: not too hot, not too cold, just right for a fall picnic. Here at Flavor Catering we believe in keeping it simple, and as a local business ourselves, keeping it local. So we headed to the nearby Turnip Truck to grab the ingredients for our favorite southern style spread, the ever-classic pimento cheese, (recipe below) and a few other tasty morsels to enjoy on our day out.
So what’s in our basket, you ask??
A selection of Noble Springs Dairy’s creamy goat cheese; a box of pumpkin spice crackers; a handful of honeycrisp apples, a loaf of Pain au Levain from Twin Forks Farm, our homemade pimento cheese, a bar of Olive & Sinclair artisan chocolate with cacao nibs, and a six-pack of Yazoo Brewery’s Fall Lager, which just so happens to be located around the block from our kitchen.
A Southern Classic: Pimento Cheese
If you are from the south, then you already know all about pimento cheese. If you aren’t, then you are probably thinking that only a Southerner would mix extra sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and sweet peppers together and call it a meal!
But its beauty is in its simplicity. Most of the ingredients you likely have in your refrigerator. The preparation is quick and easy, and can be served as decadent lunch or a last minute hors d’oeuvres for guests.
Lovingly referred to as “the caviar of the South,” the pimento cheese sandwich is most famously featured every year at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. More commonly, it is spread between two pieces of Bunny bread and pressed into the hands of hungry children as they rush out the door to play. It can be served with crackers or celery sticks, as it has been for decades, to party-goers. Personally, we like to place a dollop on our sweet potato biscuits and feature it as a seriously southern appetizer option.
No matter how you choose to enjoy, take heart in knowing that you are participating in a much loved culinary tradition here in the American South.
PIMENTO CHEESE RECIPE
serves 8 – 10
- 1 cup mayonnaise (you can’t get more southern than Duke’s!)
- 4 oz. diced pimento, drained
- 1 tbs. finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- pinch of salt
- an 8 oz. block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
- smoked paprika, to taste
- buttermilk, for consistency (optional)
To start, finely shred your cheese. Mix mayonnaise and pimento in a large mixing bowl. Add in onion, garlic, and salt. Slowly add in cheddar until the mixture is good and thick. Add some smoked paprika, to taste, and enjoy!
You have two options here: you can blend all the ingredients in a food processor for a more consistent texture. Or you can go old-school on it (as we personally prefer) and mix it by hand. It’s a bit more labor intensive, but results in the chunky texture pimento cheese is often known for.
Chef’s Note: This is one of those per your preference dishes. . . more onion, less garlic? Go for it!!