Monday, February 4, 2013

Kids Cooking Club: Pimiento Cheese Spread

Growing up there were three staples that my grandparents served when we visited them on the farm Sunday afternoon/evenings for dinner. Now in terms of spreads, I do not mean lots of food that is spread out along a serving unit but spread on bread, crackers, dipped with celery/carrots. The three staples of my grandma's were ham, cheese and egg spread.

Almost every Sunday the ladies would gather in the kitchen while the men watched football and/or baseball in the family room. When it was time for dinner, out came the meat grinder for the ham spread, sauce pans to boil the eggs, and a grater for the cheese. Coming from a large family all of us would work together in making our favorite spread, it was quite a teamwork event. 

My daughters today have continued in the love of making pimiento cheese spread. The girls have enjoyed making this recipe. The one thing that I do for them is finely chopping the onions, other than that, they are very careful when it comes to making the spread. We do not use a mixer but hand mix in a large bowl.

Pimiento Cheese Spread

1 lb. grated, mild cheddar cheese (we recommend to hand grate the cheddar cheese because pregrated cheese does not absorb the flavors of the ingredients as well, and the texture is a little different).
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 T. chopped pimientos (drained)
2 T. grated/finely chopped white onion
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients listed above together in a bowl and refrigerate for about one (1) hour.

Our family tends not to like spreads with a lot of mayo, it makes it a little soggy, and causes a texture issue for the girls. So based upon your tastes you might want to add more mayo or even mustard.

There are several different ways that you can serve the cheese spread, below are some of our favorite ways. If you try this recipe, and combine it with something different, we would love to know because we will try it too!
  • Dip the cheese spread with crackers.
  • Place the cheese spread on cucumber slices.
  • Dip carrots and celery into the cheese spread (a veggie plate).
  • Make grilled cheese sandwiches and spread the pimiento cheese on your bread (in place of sliced cheese), along with several slices of tomatoes on top of the cheese spread, then place your bread and griddle on your stove top.
  • Dip pretzels in cheese spread.
  • Dip pretzels with tortilla chips.

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