I was big on dirty martinis from an early (note: legal) age.
This olive juice craze gave rise to many abandoned, juiceless jars of olives. I began to look for recipes to use up this massive surplus. In little time I was routinely making batches of – you guessed it – pimento cheese dip – that included the olives as well as the pimentos inside.
I have historically relied on Southern cooking tradition in assuming there are few acceptable ways to serve pimento cheese.
In a sandwich.
But even with its alleged limited applications, I would list pimento cheese as one of my top desert island foods. When you’d eat it with a spoon, that’s when you know.
The other reason to love pimento cheese so much? There’s barely any ingredients! So it’s an ideal whip-together-at-the-last-minute dish made of things you very likely have in your fridge right now.
So as a service to both you and I, I put my head to paper and came up with a list to get me ruminating on how I can justify eating more of it, for those occasions when I make it in alarmingly huge quantities.
- Mixed into macaroni and cheese
- Stuffed in enchiladas
- Mixed into broccoli cheddar soup
- Mixed into mashed potatoes
- Topping fries
- Mixed into a soufflé
- Topping a burger
- Mixed into risotto
- On pizza
- On a Philly cheesesteak
- Mixed into cream cheese
- Stuffed in chicken breasts
- Mixed into grits
- Rolled in panko breadcrumbs and fried
- Mixed into scrambled eggs
- Mixed into pasta carbonara
- Stuffed in homemade ravioli
- Melted inside quesadillas
Let me know if you have, want to, or will give any of these a try. I’d love to hear what the results were!
I N G R E D I E N T S
I like my grilled cheese to have much more “cheese” than “grilled.” You may see me dipping my sandwich into the cheese that oozes out from time to time. So if this recipe is a bit too cheesy for you, just halve the cheese quantities to make it a bit less melty and more manageable.
- 2 slices white bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
- 6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 oz. pimento-stuffed olives, minced
D I R E C T I O N S
- On medium-low heat, heat one tablespoon butter in a skillet. Place one piece of the bread down, slathering with the entirety of the cheese mixture, being sure to cover the edges completely. Top with the second piece of bread, smush down, and cover the skillet with a lid to allow for the cheese to melt.
- After 2 – 3 minutes, flip the sandwich, adding the additional tablespoon of butter to the pan. Cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove the grilled cheese, cut diagonally, and serve oozing and hot.