Showing posts with label pimento cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pimento cheese. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Easiest Antipasto Ever #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: You may have heard me say that my husband and I belong to a supper club with five other couples. Every 6 to 8 weeks, we make a date to get together for dinner. The hosts provide the main dish (meat, fish, chicken, etc) and the others provide some designated part of the dinner. It's a good way to ensure we all see each other, without burdening anyone with too much entertaining. We had a dinner recently in the middle of a very busy stretch for me. My hub and I were designated the appetizer crew and I had big plans to marinate a lot of vegetables and make some wonderful dips, too.

As can happen, I simply didn't have time to cook. I considered a platter of cheese and crackers--boring! Instead I went to one of my favorite farm shops and the farmer's market, and here's what I came up with. 

Isn't it pretty? I'm going to list the ingredients for you, but the point is, there are a million ways to make this and none of them are wrong!


1 pint fresh figs
4 to 5 carrots
Kalamata or other olives
Parmesan cheese
Stick of good salami 
Purchased dip (Mine was a pesto/feta dip from the farmer's market)

Wash the figs and cut them in half lengthwise. Peel the carrots and cut them into sticks. Slice the cheese and meat into bite-sized pieces. That's it! Arrange everything on a pretty plate and serve with a basket of your favorite crackers.

Just for fun, here are a few of the other recipes I've made for supper club:

Grilled skewers of shrimp and sausage with grits
David Lebovitz's French Onion and Olive flatbread
Pomegranate, Olive, and Walnut salad
Pimento cheese, two ways

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lucy Burdette's Pimento Cheese Two Ways

The happy graduate with her proud father, Harry, and her proud Aunt Sue
LUCY BURDETTE:  I confess that I've become obsessed with pimento cheese. It began in Elizabeth City, NC at my niece Rachel's graduation party. Her father, Harry Williams, is a chef. Lucky for her (and for us!), he offered to cater her congratulations graduate party. She picked the menu and there were tons of southern delicacies, but the one I hovered over was an enormous vat of pimento cheese.

Pimento cheese isn't new to me--I like to try it wherever I see it (mostly in the south.) If you don't follow golf, you might not know that the Masters golf tournament serves only a few kinds of sandwiches, including pimento cheese on white bread. The recipe is closely guarded, as you can imagine. 

As I hunted for the right recipe, I found there are more variations than you can shake a stick at. The toasted pecans (not at all traditional,) the onions, the scallions, the pimento only, the mayonnaise contingent vs the cream cheese adders. The white cheese, the yellow cheese, the sharp, the mild...even some Parmesan.

Here's what I decided on, and my testers declared it:

Lucy's Perfect Pimento Cheese

6 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (don't buy a pre-shredded package, if you can help it)
4 oz Greek cream cheese (half is Greek yogurt--more protein, less fat)
7-8 oz red peppers in oil, chopped
1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped--mostly white parts, sauteed in tiny amount of butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise, more if needed (I used Hellmann's)
dash of Tabasco sauce, to taste

Shred the cheese, combine in a large bowl with cream cheese, beat until well mixed. (I used an electric mixer.) Add the red peppers and scallions, mix well. Add the mayo. If the mixture isn't the right texture for
spreading, you may add more, plus hot sauce to taste.

Chill in a pretty bowl and serve with crackers and celery. Or use in sandwiches.

That is my version. Now I will give you my niece's father's version, which was to die for!

Harry's Dumbwaiter Pimento Cheese

2 lbs of high quality yellow sharp cheddar cheese
2 lbs of white Vermont cheddar cheese
6 medium red peppers, roasted then peeled and seeded, processed until all same texture, by pulsing, but not pureed
Take edible parts of 2 leeks and dice, sauté in butter until translucent
Tip: Leeks are always gritty so after you dice let them wash in fresh cold water for a few minutes. Then take your hand and scoop them from the top leaving the grit in the bottom of the bowl.
1 cup or 1 ½ cup of mayonnaise, depending on desired creaminess
Light Dash or 2 of hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients all together.

Allow mixture to sit for 4 hours so that cheese can absorb flavors of other ingredients

NOTE FROM HARRY: I was the Sous Chef at The Dumbwaiter in downtown Norfolk, working under Chef Sydney Meers. This was his recipe and one of the most popular items on the menu. We used pimento cheese in many ways, such as,  Pimento cheese crème fraise , pimento cheese cream sauce, polenta,  spinach and pimento cheese dish that Sydney called lasagna, pimento cheese topped tart apples on oven baked turkey sandwiches to name a few. Southern Living magazine came to The Dumbwaiter on a tour of Norfolk and when the article was written (which wasn’t even a food article) the writer stated that the Pimento cheese at The Dumbwaiter was worth the trip to Norfolk.

Now back to me, Lucy. The only pimento cheese mistake I made while in the South was ordering a grilled pimento cheese sandwich in a deli. The bread was a fake whole wheat and the cheese very heavy on warm mayo. Honestly, we couldn't even make it through half a sandwich. And we were hunnnnnnggggrey!

But I can vouch for both of the recipes here--they make the perfect snack for reading. Serve with crackers and celery.

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And don't forget to order TOPPED CHEF so you have something to eat while reading--guaranteed to make you hungry! 

In case you think I'm making more of a fuss about pimento cheese than it warrants, look what upcoming book I found in Publishers Marketplace:

From Publishers Marketplace 6/6/13

Perre Magness's PIMENTO CHEESE, celebrating this classic Southern favorite (Pimento is a religion in the South) -- with recipes history, anecdotes and tips, to BJ Berti at St. Martin's, for publication in Fall 2014, by Lisa Ekus of The Lisa Ekus Group (NA).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Easy, Finger Lickin’ Southern Side—Pimento Cheese

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]Wow! We had Release-a-palooza yesterday! Congratulations to my fellow Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen cooks, Wendy Watson and Julie Hyzy for their brand new releases! My Kindle is loaded and I am ready to do some summer reading!

I was thrilled to see Finger Lickin’ Dead on the shelves yesterday. I do have a little giveaway after my recipe, so be sure to scroll down to the end of the post if you’d like to enter.

IMG_20110607_200358Now, on to pimento cheese! The easy version.
Pimento cheese is a favorite Southern side. It’s served as a veggie dip, spread on sandwiches, and used as a condiment. In fact, I went to a huge birthday party last Saturday at the beach, with some absolutely fabulous food…and pimento cheese was one of the things that the caterers put out.

Finger Lickin' Close UpSince yesterday marked my release of Finger Lickin’ Dead, I thought a little pimento cheese was in order. That’s one of my sleuth, Lulu’s, favorite foods. She even offers pimento cheese dogs and pimento cheese topped burgers on special occasions at Aunt Pat’s BBQ restaurant.

It’s light and tasty, but I think that some people aren’t wild about pimento cheese because of the texture. And that’s a shame, because you can make a smooth version (which is really the kind I prefer, myself.) Here’s how:

Simply Southern Pimento Cheese

1 block extra-sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 4 oz. jar pimentos, with liquid
1 cup mayonnaise
1 squirt regular mustard
1 dash garlic powder
Put all the ingredients in your blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes for the pimento cheese to thicken into a spread.

IMG_20110607_200751(That’s right, y’all….I said the blender!) No wrestling with your food processor needed!

fingerlickindead--smallTo make those little luncheon sandwiches, all the ladies cut the edges off white bread, spread the pimento cheese on them, and set them out on china plates. Sometimes they put a moistened paper towel over the sandwiches to keep the bread soft while they wait for their luncheon to start.
Yes, I could happily eat pimento cheese all day long. :)
And now, some more about my….
"Finger Lickin' Dead" Giveaway
It's time for a Finger Lickin' Dead giveaway! To celebrate the June 7 release of the 2nd book in the Memphis Barbecue series, I'm throwing an easy contest.
To enter the random drawing for a free, signed, paperback copy of "Finger Lickin' Dead," just send me an email--I'm at elizabethspanncraig (at) gmail (dot) com-- with "Giveaway" in the subject line. The contest is open to everyone—my international friends, included. The deadline for entering is Tuesday, June 14th at midnight, ET. The winner will be announced during my post, Wednesday, June 15th here on the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog. Good luck!