Pimento cheese and cornbread are a traditional, Southern staple. Over the years I have had my share. I have liked some more than others, and made it a mission to come up with my own version. I have been making both of these recipes for some time.
My original cornbread recipe uses a half cup of sugar and is made in a 4×4 pan or into muffins. While I love sweet, cake like, cornbread, this wasn’t the place for it. I did omit some of the sugar in this cornbread because it really doesn’t need to be sweet.
This pimento cheese spread has a bit of a kick; courtesy of Franks Hot Sauce. If you don’t want the kick, omit it. I’ve tried different combinations of cheeses; I always come back to extra sharp cheese. The sharper, the better for my taste. The cheese can be kept on it’s own in the fridge for up to a week.
Vik's Homemade Cornbread & Pimento Cheese Sammies
FOR THE CORNBREAD
• 1 ¼ C all purpose flour
• ¾ C yellow cornmeal
• ¼ C sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 1 C skim milk or buttermilk (I love the tang of buttermilk)
• ¼ C vegetable oil
• 2 eggs, beaten
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, place baking rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Grease an 8×8 inch glass baking dish.
3. Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk with a wire whisk.
4. Combine the milk, oil, beaten egg, add to the dry ingredients and mix together until just moistened.
5. Pour into the prepared pan.
6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check for doneness halfway through the cooking time. Ovens will vary.
7. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
FOR THE PIMENTO CHEESE
- 8 oz softened, cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
- 1/4 C mayonnaise
- 1/4 C miracle whip (you can use all mayo if you prefer)
- 2 t Franks hot sauce or hot sauce of choice
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
- 1/2 t dry mustard powder
- 1/4 t paprika
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 4 oz. diced and roasted, red pepper (also known as pimento)
- 2 C shredded, extra sharp cheese
1. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and hot sauce, in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. Cream until smooth.
2. Add the garlic, paprika, onion, salt, and mustard powders and combine until thoroughly mixed.
3. Fold in the shredded cheddar and diced roasted red pepper, gently, with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until combined.
4. Remove and put in a sealed container.
1. Cut the cornbread into 8 equal portions, remove from the pan and slice in half. **Also cute if you cut into rounds with a cookie cutter. (don’t throw away the leftovers, cube them and put them in the freezer to use later for croutons)
2. Put the desired amount of pimento cheese on each.
3. They can be wrapped separately in parchment or put in a large lidded container.
**Keep on ice if taking on a picnic since there is mayonnaise in there.
NOTE: These are crazy good served with fried chicken and potato salad and/or coleslaw. Also good on their own with a green salad. It’s also good on beef, chicken, or turkey sandwiches. If you really want to kick it up……….grill these sandwiches as you would any grilled cheese. Truth is….you could just eat it with a spoon and be very happy.
Happy summer y’all. Have fun, stay cool, be safe!
Til next time,