One of the most southern recipes that you can find is the pimento cheese sandwich. When it comes to pimento cheeses to use, Lee Brothers’ Pimento Cheese is by far the most well known. However, there aren’t many people outside of the south who know how to make pimento cheese sandwiches and other recipes using this interesting food.
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If you haven’t eaten pimento cheese before, you should start with the Lee Brothers and then move onto some of the other varieties out there.
Pimento Cheese Sandwich Recipe
Let’s start with the most basic recipe: the Pimento Cheese Sandwich. You start with some pimento cheese (either the kind you buy in stores or some you make on your own) and your favorite bread. From there, it is fairly simple.
- 8 slices bread of choice (wheat bread is really great in this recipe)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 cups pimento cheese
- On low heat, warm a cast-iron skillet.
- Put a heaping half-cup scoop of pimento cheese in between 2 slices of bread. Do not spread the cheese.
- Smear one side of each sandwich with mayonnaise. Put the sandwiches into the skillet.
- Cook until golden brown. The cheese will have started to spread throughout the sandwich. Keep flipping to get an even cook.
- Slice and serve immediately.
Essentially it is a basic grilled cheese sandwich – but the pimento cheese is what makes it something special.
Lee Brothers Pimento Cheese Recipe
At certain stores, you can buy pre-made pimento cheese. However, to get Lee Brothers Pimento Cheese, you need to make it yourself. You can buy it in certain places, but it can be difficult to find.
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 25 cup softened cream cheese, broken apart
- 5 cup jarred pimento, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons high-quality mayonnaise (Hellman’s, or Duke’s works best)
- 5 tsp dried red chile flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Lay down an even layer of cheddar cheese in a large mixing bowl. Evenly scatter the cream cheese bits, pimentos, mayonnaise, and chile flakes over top the cheese spread. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth. This should take about two minutes if you continue to stir- the cheese will melt and soften.
- Transfer the pimento cheese into a bowl. For storage, put it into a plastic bowl and cover tightly.
This pimento cheese should keep in your refrigerator for one week. This recipe takes 5 minutes and you will want to make it over and over again.
Homemade Pimento Cheese Recipe
If you like pimento cheese, but the Lee Brothers recipe isn’t your favorite, we have another homemade pimento cheese recipe for you to try. This one has a bit more of a complex flavor profile.
- 2 cups freshly grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes and allowed to warm to room temperature
- 4 ounces pimento peppers, well-drained and chopped into strips
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 25 tsp garlic powder
- 25 tsp teaspoon onion powder
- 25 tsp teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 5 medium jalapeño pepper, minced (ribs and seeds removed)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Mix the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, pimento peppers, mayonnaise, garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and jalapeno into a large mixing bowl. Add some black pepper to taste.
- Beat the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. A hand mixer would be easier, but you can do it with a wooden spoon.
- Taste and add more black pepper or other spices that you would like. If you add something, blend again.
With this recipe, you can serve it immediately or store it in your refrigerator for up to one week. With this recipe, in particular, you will need to allow it to stand for 30 minutes before you eat it after it has been refrigerated because it hardens when chilled.
Lee Brothers Mac & Cheese Recipe
Most people stop with pimento cheese and bread, crackers, or pretzels. However, there are many, many great recipes out there that you can make with pimento cheese. This one, for instance, brings the flavors of pimento cheese into macaroni and cheese.
- 2 cups macaroni of choice (elbow works best)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 2 cups of milk
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Hot sauce to taste
- 4 ounce jarred pimentos, drained
- 5 slices of bacon, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Back pepper
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to a boil.
- Cook the pasta for five minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In that same pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour, and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes a light brown color.
- Add the mustard powder.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk the mixture until the sauce has thickened – about five minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted.
- Add hot sauce to taste.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the pasta back into the saucepan with the cheese and toss to coat.
- Stir in the bacon pieces and the drained pimentos.
- Put everything into a baking dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until you see the top start bubbling and turn golden.
If you want to reheat this recipe, you need to do so in an oven.
Pimento cheese is a versatile ingredient that you can sub into many different recipes. If you like the taste, just start experimenting for yourself.