One evening while watching a show on a particular cooking channel, the chef at a restaurant made a grilled ham and pimento cheese sandwich. It looked to die for. I had no idea what pimento cheese was exactly, so I immediately got online to figure out what it is. My first reaction was, "That's it?". As it turns out, it doesn't take much to create a wonderfully sweet, spicy, ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich. I made these for lunch one day with a bowl of piping hot tomato soup. Best. Lunch. Ever. The recipe can also be used as a dip for veggies. I'm pretty sure if I was at a party where this dip was being served, I'd never leave the bowl.
If you can't find jarred pimentos, like me, use jarred roasted red peppers. For an extra smokey kick, add some chipotle in adobe sauce. As a side note, I did not process my ingredients together for the grilled cheese sandwich. I would recommend bringing the cheese mixture closer to room temperature before grilling it in a sandwich to ensure all the goodness melts evenly. If making the dip, I would process the mixture.
Yields 6 sandwiches
- 1 1/2 cups (175 g) shredded, quality shard Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup (116 g) real mayonnaise, plus more for grilling
- 1 (4 oz./113 g) jar chopped pimentos, drained
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 12 slices of bread
In a food processor, pulse the cheese, mayo, pimentos and cayenne until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Spread some additional mayo on one side of each slice of bread. Arrange six slices, mayo side down, on a clean work surface. Place two heaping tablespoons of pimento cheese evenly on the 6 slices of bread. Top with the remaining six slices of bread, mayo side facing up.
In a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, cook the sandwiches until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt, about 3 minutes. Turn the sandwiches over and cook until golden brown, about another 3 minutes. Repeat as needed until all the sandwiches are cooked.