Pimento cheese please...
This week on IG was dedicated to that beloved southern staple, pimento cheese! Gathered here are recipes & links to get you making the yummy treats featured, so here we go! Pimento cheese is at it's basic, a mixture of sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, and pimentos. It can be used in a sandwich, on burgers and for our purposes - as appetizers! There are a million versions of how to make it yourself online, or you can just buy a tub in the cooled section of your local grocery. Really - they are great pre-made if you aren't feeling like the extra step.
Simple pimento cheese recipe:
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese
1 (7oz) jar pimentos, drained and chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp pepper
sprinkle of cayenne - optional
Pimento Cheese with Pepper Jelly
Simple snacking can be pimento cheese with crackers as a dip or you can amp it up with a topping of pepper jelly! Shown here is pimento cheese topped with Jennifer's Kitchen Hot Confetti Pepper Jelly. I will say this is fantastic with any of our flavors and customers tell me often how much they like it with the Strawberry Pepper Jelly in the spring and summer! I first learned this tip while in Baton Rouge at a holiday show when the local ladies told me how Strawberry is king on pimento cheese! Def a great simple & tasty treat! Use a strong cracker or chip like pita chips (shown here) as they don't break as easily with a dense dip like pimento cheese.
Pimento Cheese Fritters
Up next Lauren Hall of @HallNesting created these scrumptious Pimento Cheese fritters to be served with a side of pepper jelly for dipping! Fried cheese? Yes, please! Click the pic to transport over to Lauren's blog to find the how-to of this yummy combo!
Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls
This little bite of savory divinity takes the classic southern sausage ball which is typically cheddar cheese, sausage and Bisquick (a prepared baking mix) and substitutes pimento cheese for the plain cheddar to amp it up a notch! If you have a tried & true recipe for sausage balls - simply substitute pimento cheese for the grated cheese. If not, our recipe is below the picture!
Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls Ingredients:
1lb breakfast sausage (the tubes!)
1 1/2 cups pimento cheese
2 cups baking mix (bisquick or recipe below)
*As all pimento cheese’s are different - feel free to add a bit of extra flour if your sausage ball mix feels too wet. It should start to feel more like a dough than just sausage.
To make: Mix all ingredients and scoop out a small portion, roll portion into a ball with your hands and place on baking sheet covered with parchment. Bake for 20 minutes @ 350.
💁🏻♀️In my experience with the mayo based pimento cheese version - mine needed a few minutes under the broiler to brown off at the end. I just like them to look good & browned. 😊
As many of you know, my son Ethan has allergies to nitrates so no boxed baking mixes for us. This is my go to recipe when I need a homemade version of a Bisquick type baking mix..
Homemade Bisquick/Baking Mix:
2 cups of Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 T Cold Butter
Mix all and “cut” in the butter. I use my hands to mix it in and break up the butter into making a tiny crumb. Store mix in fridge.
These little babies are going to need their own post but I wanted to include them here also. If you are familiar with my brand, then it's possible you've tried our #1 recipe: Pepper Jelly Cheesecake. Well, my daughter has been trying to get me to sell ready made versions of it for years, and that was an undertaking I just WASNT READY FOR. Here, however, I may have stumbled upon an easy, walk & snack version of this popular dip in these Pimento Tarts! I also think these are pretty enough for any spring event or even Easter!
To make Pimento tarts you use our Pepper Jelly Cheesecake batter and pour into these cute little ready made tart pans that can be found in the frozen section of your grocery store. These are best served warm, but the prep can be done in advance. The possibilities for little bite size portions here are endless...you could use wonton cups, puff pastry shells, tart shells (like here), fillo cups.... you see what I mean? ( Next item has MORE bite size ideas!) So choose your vessel and add the batter & bake, easy right? Like I said - a more extensive post will be needed but here's the basics for now:
1 (11.5oz) jar Jennifer’s Kitchen Pepper Jelly*
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat softened cream cheese well in a mixing bowl. Add cheddar cheese, egg, garlic and 1⁄2 jar jelly, mixing well. Pour mixture into your chosen tartlet. Baking time will vary depending on what size tart you are making but for the pictured tarts above 24 minutes was perfect! smaller tarts will take less time so you are looking for the top to begin to lightly brown. When done, tarts should be firm like brownies when jiggled. Remove tarts from oven Next take the remaining jelly and microwave until loose, about 15 seconds & stir. May require additional time to melt completely as microwaves vary. Pour a small spoonful of jelly on top of each tart. If you are adding a piece of glazed fruit like above - brush fruit with pepper jelly as well for that pretty shine! If you want to amp up the savory you can top with cooked crumbled bacon! DELISH! If you have extra batter left over you can freeze it or pour into a shallow glass dish and bake as a dip served with crackers.
*Now the great jelly debate... I always use Confetti Pepper Jelly inside my batter as it gives you this perfect level of pepper-cheesy goodness. That being said - ANY of our jellies will work! It's all about what you LIKE! I topped these tarts with a Strawberry Pepper Jelly glaze to give it that SPRING-iness I was going for but the same flavor inside and on top is ok too!
I promise I will make a more detailed post on these cute little tarts...I promise. Moving on!
This is the simpler cousin of Pimento Tarts seen above.
Pimento Bites are pimento cheese + a mini, bite size, ready made shell like: wonton cups, puff pastry shells, tart shells , fillo cups + pepper jelly + sprinkle of chives. AND that's it! you can serve this warm or cold. If you want to serve a cold pimento cheese appetizer, choose your vessel and pre-bake according to package instructions. Once cooled fill with pimento cheese and top with a dollop of your favorite Jennifer's Kitchen pepper jelly and chives. If you want a warm appetizer, fill the chosen "cups" with pimento cheese and bake following package instructions. You want the shell fully cooked. The cheese shouldn't need too ling to get bubbly so just keep an eye on them. Also cooked crumbled bacon would be DIVINE on these! YUM!
ALRIGHT... I think that about does it for this week's Pimento Cheese appetizer round up and I hope you have found a treat that's just perfect for you!
Pimento cheese week was inspired by it being Master's Week here in the south. As a bonus here's then link to @ihginamarie's blog where she has 7 Master's recipes and even has her homemade recipe for pimento cheese. Click the pic to head over and check out Gina's recipes to make your own Master's pimento cheese sandwich and more!
As always we thank you for dropping in and for supporting Jennifer's Kitchen! Head over to our "SHOP" page to shop "DIRECT" or you can grab some on Amazon with free Prime shipping!