Chris HowardComment

Midnight Pimento Cheese

Chris HowardComment
Midnight Pimento Cheese

Midnight Pimento Cheese

Time: 15 minutes (10 inactive) 

This is the first of what I am calling a “midnight” recipe. Midnight recipes can be made at – wait for it – midnight. The ingredients will be things that you may very likely already have in your refrigerator or cabinets. The steps will be simple. If you are hungry at midnight, you are either influenced or so-helpless-because-you’ve-been-binge-watching-Narcos-and-no-one-is-delivering-on-grubhub-anymore. Either way, your ability to focus has been compromised.

If you are new to pimento cheese – or cheese pimiento as they call it in the Philippines – welcome. If you are a purist, I have to answer to a few of your questions.

Where are the pimentos?

  • I keep roasted red peppers as a staple pantry item. I don’t buy pimentos very regularly at all. At midnight, I’m 1000% percent more likely to have a roasted red pepper in a jar than a pimento.

There’s no cream cheese in this?

  • Again, I rarely buy cream cheese. I do however, always have mayo. I prefer Sir Kensington’s. I could eat spoonfuls of the stuff.

  • If I did have cream cheese, I would need to set it out to soften so that it would be easier to mix. The beauty of this recipe is everything can come straight of of the refrigerator, be mixed, and after only 10 minutes or so the mixture loses its chill.

Why didn’t I think of that?

  • Perhaps the best ideas do come past your bedtime.

Fair enough. Have any other random bits of advice for this recipe?

  • For the pickles, use whatever you have in a jar in your refrigerator. I prefer to use a sweeter pickle, such as bread and butter, but whatever you have is fine.

  • Cut the red pepper into whatever size you want. If you want tiny pieces dispersed throughout, finely chop. If you want bigger pieces, leave them bigger.

  • Use a bowl that is big enough for you to just grate the cheese directly into it. Less dishes.

  • I just use a regular spoon and eyeball the mayo, but I wanted to give a measurable amount for the recipe. But you don't want a pool of mayo. You want the pimento cheese to stay together on top of your cracker.

  • Spend an equal amount of time stirring the cheese as you do smashing it with the edge of your spoon.

I got this far. Did I accomplish anything?

  • Almost. You are well on your way to conquering midnight snacking!

Servings/Suggestions

  • On crackers

  • Pimento cheese and pickle sandwich

  • If you have any left over, get a fast food fried chicken sandwich and top with midnight pimento cheese when you get home

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar

  • 3 pickle slices

  • 1 teaspoon pickle brine/juice

  • 2 tablespoons mayo

  • dash of hot sauce

  • freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Step 1

Grate the cheese directly into a medium sized bowl.

Step 2

Rinse and then dry off the red pepper by wrapping it in a paper towel and pressing down to remove excess water. Then cut into a roughly quarter inch dice. Add to the bowl along with the cheese.

Step 3

Finely chop the pickle slices. Then add the chopped pickle, pickle brine, mayo, hot sauce and black pepper to the bowl.

Step 4

Stir well with a metal spoon to combine all ingredients. Then start using the edge of the spoon to cut/smash the cheese. We don’t need to see the individual pieces of shredded cheese. Alternate between stirring and smashing. We want to make this more of a homogenous mixture.

Step 5

Put everything away but the mayo and let the mixture sit on the counter for 10 minutes. We are keeping the mayo out in case you want to add more.

Step 6

After 10 minutes give it another stir and taste. Want to add some more mayo? More hot sauce or black pepper? I usually can’t resist adding a bit more mayo and another few cracks of black pepper.

Now give it another give stir and “chop” with your spoon and you are ready to go. Congratulations, midnight snacking has been conquered.