Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich and a Freebie

I'm still on my tomato soup kick.  It makes my husband look at me funny, but I'm okay with that.  I was about to make another grilled cheese to go with it, but I thought, wait right there, hold the phones.  I've been wanting to try to make my own pimento cheese lately, so this seemed like a good time to do it.  
All I really remember about pimento cheese is that my dad took it in his lunch at least 80% of the time (along with Little Debbie Nutty Bars) and I never even once tried it.  Wouldn't touch the stuff.  It just looked gloppy and yucky.  But now I'm older, and slightly more adventurous, and this is what I came up with.

I liked this recipe because it used cream cheese instead of mayo.  I didn't read the whole recipe ahead and didn't realize I was going to have to blister and peel the red pepper so that threw me off a little, but other than that, there's nothing easier.  And it was perfect with my tomato soup!  

Here it is, from Serious Eats:

1 red bell pepper

8 ounces (about 3 cups) finely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) softened cream cheese, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Turn on the broiler. place the pepper on its side in a dry skillet and slide it under the broiler until the skin blackens on the side facing up, about 3 minutes. With tongs, turn the pepper so that an unblackened side faces up, and repeat until the skin is blackened on all sides. Place the pepper in a small bowl, cover it, and let it steam for 5 minutes as it cools down.

2. Uncover the bowl. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a cutting board, reserving any liquid in the bowl. Remove the blackened skin with your fingers and discard. Using a paring knife, cut open the pepper, remove and discard the stem and seeds, and chop the pepper into 1/4-inch dice. You should have a scant 1/2 cup.

3. Place the grated cheddar in a medium bowl and add the cream cheese pieces, the diced red pepper and its liquid, and the red pepper flakes, distributing them evenly over the cheese. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, blend the ingredients together until the spread is thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

4. Turn the blended cheese out onto a cutting board and use a spatula to gather it into a rectangular block about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide, and 2 inches high. Wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use. Slice and serve. Grillable pimento cheese keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  (I didn't do all that, I just smeared it on)

For Each Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Two 1/3-inch-thick slices Sally Lunn or other white bread (I used potato bread)

Three 1/3-inch-thick slices Pimento Cheese for Grilling

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Lightly toast the bread in a toaster or under the broiler. Place the cheese between the slices of toast.

2. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium hear. As soon as the butter is frothy, place the sandwich in the skillet. Pan-fry the sandwich for 6 minutes. Flip it with a spatula, cover the skillet, and cook for 3 minutes more.

3. Transfer to a cutting board, slice the sandwich diagonally with a serrated knife into two portable pieces.

I've got a few more of those little cookbook magazines to share with some one if you're interested.  There's nothing really ground-breaking or earthshattering in any of these, but there's some yummy sounding stuff and nice pictures.  
Some of these are pretty old, a couple are little tattered and wrinkled (like me :), from the early 90's even.

 If you're interested in receiving these just put the codeword "FREEBIE" in your comment somewhere, and I'll randomly pick a winner later this week, probably Thursday.   



Cinnamon-Girl said...

My stomach just grumbled and I'm seriously thinking of making a grilled cheese right now! I wish I had some pimento cheese... I used to love those nutty bars when I was a kid.

Tiffanee said...

I used to feel the same way about Pimento cheese as a kid. Now you made me want one of these sandwiches right now. Looks so delicious!! Thanks for a new twist on grilled cheese.

Tiffanee said...

I forgot FREEBIE!!

Monet said...

I'm all about good sandwiches...and this one would certainly fit the bill! This is a great way to update a classic sandwich. Yum!

Jay said...

Yum...! wat a delicious recipe...! very impressed with ur presentation.
You r most welcome to my space.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

You know I'm all over the pimento cheese! ;)

The Japanese Redneck said...

I luv homemade pimento cheese.

I also luv FREEBIES.

Ingrid said...

I remember my dad eating those sammies, too. And like you I wasn't having any part of it. Looks good but I'm still not sure. :)

The Blonde Duck said...

Why did I never think of this!!!

Sweet and Savory said...

I've actually never had pimento cheese..but for some reason I'd think I'd like it!


Karen said...

I've never had pimento cheese! I read recipes too quickly sometimes and miss things ... like roast and peel the pepper... you're not the only one ;)

Kim said...

I LOVE Pimento Cheese (it's really good on burgers too)! I've only made it with mayo before, but I'd love to try it with cream cheese. I bet the cream cheese makes it even cheesier:)


Monica H said...

Codeword FREEBIE! you crack me up :-)

I've never been a fan of pimento cheese. i just like to pull out the larger shreds of cheddar and leave the rest. My husband would ove this though.

Lara said...

Well, I love a good FREEBIE as much as the next person. I'm also really digging the cheese recipe. That sandwich looks yumm-o!

Chris said...

We didn't have pimento cheese often but it was one of my favorites as a kid. To this day I LOVE a pimento cheese and the fact that you grilled yours makes me want to try the pimento cheese burger that was making the rounds earlier this year. Great post but I shouldn't have read it this late I night....I'm craving pimento cheese now.

Donna-FFW said...

Sounds like a perfect sandwich! I love the idea!

Lunch Buckets said...

the ever-present pimento cheese was always one of my favorite things about coming to your house ;)

Joanne said...

I've been hearing such good things about pimiento cheese lately and this post just supports that! Awesome sandwich.

cookies and cups said...

These sandwiches look great! My mom used to always eat pimento cheese and as a kid I thought it was gross, but I have since come to my senses and love it!

Mimi said...

My dad ate pimento cheese sandwiches too. It was way to yucky for me to eat. This however looks delicious.

Raina said...

I have never had pimento cheese, but it sure sounds delicious. Frustrating when you don't read the recipe ahead of time; I do it all the time,

I have a couple of those cookbooks already. They have some great recipes:)

Krista said...

Well, YUM! Sounds perfectly delicious.

I'm in for the FREEBIE! Thanks!

LDH said...

What a great blog you have here! I have perused about a dozen posts and enjoyed each one! Thanks so much for stopping by my place and leaving your comment! So nice to meet you!

Kindly, ldh

Debbie said...

One thing I do not need (FREEBIE) is another cookbook (FREEBIE), or cooking magazie (FREEBIE), but I wanted to tell you (FREEBIE), that I do the same thing (FREEBIE) when I'm on a certain recipe/food/dish kick. (FREEBIE) I make it and make it and make it.
I love (FREEBIE) tomatoe Bisque too! And the pimento (FREEBIE) cheese sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Pimento grilled cheese? Sign me up. Yum. I didn't like pimento cheese until a few years ago. Before then I was kind of scared of it. Now I love it. Freebie!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I haven't had pimento cheese in ages. My mom used to make it - the pate' of the South - lol

Your sandwich has me craving this sammie along with a bowl of tomato soup!

Sook said...

Wow, the sandwich looks so yummy! Love all the ingredients.

Me, Myself and Pie said...

That sandwich looks delish. I love the addition of cream cheese.So much better than mayo!