While I love living in Upstate New York, there are some things I really miss about the South. Sweet tea is basically a culture in and of itself. The pace of life is much more relaxed. The weather (of course). And Pimento-Cheese Spread. I remember seeing Pimento-Cheese Spread for the first time at a local Publix and thinking that it looked interesting. I bought some and when I got home spread it on a cracker (in law school that was basically called dinner). I took one bite and knew I wanted a long-term relationship.
The glorious phenomenon that is Pimento-Cheese Spread is sadly not sold in any grocery store near my house, so I was forced to make it myself (which wasn’t really a bad thing at all). This recipe is my version…I replace a lot of the mayo with Greek yogurt, which makes it a little healthier and gives it a nice tang, so I omit the vinegar that is usually added. If you like a little less tang, feel free to increase the amount of mayo and decrease the Greek yogurt.
I used the spread to make finger sandwiches, but it’s also incredible on crackers or spread on a slice of bread and broiled until the cheese melts.
Pimento-Cheese Finger Sandwiches
(Yield: 8 sandwiches)
16 thin slices of bread (I used Monks’)
Pimento-Cheese Spread (see below)
Pimento-Cheese Spread (Makes about 1 2/3 c cheese spread):
8 oz extra sharp Cheddar, shredded (I like to use orange Cheddar in this recipe for the color)
1 (4 oz) jar chopped pimentos, drained (juices reserved)
1/4 c Greek yogurt
2 TB mayo
1 TB pimento juice
1/2 tsp each honey, dry mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
For the Pimento-Cheese Spread: In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, mayo, pimento juice, honey, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl stir together the cheese, pimentos, and yogurt mixture; season to taste with cayenne pepper.
For the Sandwiches: Thinly spread 2 TB of Pimento-Cheese Spread on each of 4 slices of bread (make sure there is just a thin layer of filling, since finger sandwiches shouldn’t be overstuffed; you should have about 2/3 c of cheese spread leftover). Top with the remaining bread. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal.