It seems like several times a week as I take inventory of what's on hand in the refrigerator or freezer I discover various odds and ends that need to be used. Earlier this summer I discovered another recipe which uses a half block of cream cheese. The recipe was for a regional staple: Pimento Cheese. (Not all recipes call for cream cheese, and some people may be horrified at the thought.)
We did not eat Pimento Cheese when I was growing up in Ohio. I don't actually remember the first time that I tried it, but I do remember a friend in grad school who had just gotten married who was greatly relieved as a newlywed when her groom told her that she didn't need to plan lunches for him because he could "just eat a pimento cheese sandwich", as he had undoubtedly done while living with his parents or on his own.
I heard on the news last spring that Pimento Cheese sandwiches are sold every year at the Masters' golf tournament in Augusta, GA. Their version contains several types of cheese, including blue cheese. Here's an interesting article  about it.
We went to a Farmer's Market this summer where a vendor sold several varieties of Pimento Cheese; some without pimentos, some made with smoked cheeses, and some with caramelized onions. I think the beauty of these spreads is that you can customize them to your taste preference.
Here are the ingredients for the recipe that I have been using, followed by the recipe:
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 oz. pimentoes, drained
Mix in a food processor the cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, and paprika. Then add the drained pimentos and pulse briefly. Chill before serving. If this seems to stiff after chilling stir in a little milk.
Rob likes to eat this on crackers or as a dip for vegetables. My favorite way to eat this is on a slice of whole wheat toast. It is good as a sandwich by itself or in combination with ham. I often make ham and pimento cheese sandwiches on a bun for Sunday night after church. I wrap each sandwich in foil and then put them in the crockpot right before we leave for church. They are nicely toasted by the time we get home.
My latest dilemma is what to do with all those cute little empty jars. 🙂
Do you like Pimento Cheese? What's your favorite way to eat it?