Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Just about everyone in the South grew up with pimento cheese. And, as you know, there are as many variations as there are Southerners.

But the basic recipe is pretty simple — really only three ingredients plus a little pepper. From there, you can make it your own.

Sharp cheddar cheese, jarred pimentos and mayonnaise combine in a spread that is far greater than the sum of its parts. It's creamy and sharp, and you can use it myriad ways, from sandwiches (try it as grilled cheese) to crackers to stirring it into biscuit dough.

Cook This: Tomato cobbler with pimento cheese biscuits is just genius

One caution: This is a recipe where a shortcut of using already shredded cheese just doesn't work. It won't meld with the mayo. So, bite the bullet, and grate it yourself. Also, use only sharp cheddar (extra sharp is even better) because you want that stronger flavor.

Pimento Cheese

16 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese

4-ounce jar of pimientos with liquid

2-3 generous tablespoons of real mayonnaise

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Grate cheese into a deep bowl using the largest holes on your grater. Pour the entire jar of chopped pimentos on the cheese.

2. Add 2 generous tablespoons of mayonnaise and stir everything together with a fork, mashing the cheese and pimentos together.

3. If too dry, add more mayonnaise. Grind in a little black pepper and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with pepper or mayonnaise as needed.

4. Store in an airtight container.