Grilled Pimento Cheese Minis

by Sarah Yaw

Pimento cheese is a quintessential Southern food, and everyone has a favorite recipe. Feel free to use this one as a starting point to add your own creative touches — candied jalapenos, green chiles, different kinds of cheeses. There are no limits!

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp (or more) hot sauce
1 T chopped Vidalia (or sweet yellow) onion
1/2 cup diced, drained pimentos
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 lb freshly shredded, sharp cheddar cheese (Skip the bagged stuff for this recipe!)
1/2 lb freshly shredded, medium cheddar cheese
2 T salted butter
1 loaf of fresh, white bread

First, make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and onion in a blender. Blend until well combined and until the onion is completely blended into the dressing. Taste and add more hot sauce if you like a more spicy pimento cheese. Next, combine all of the cheeses (cheddar and cream cheese) in a bowl. Add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.

To make the grilled cheese, heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush butter on one side of a slice of bread and place it in the skillet. Gently spread two tablespoons (or so) of pimento cheese on the bread. Take another slice of bread, spread one side with melted butter and place it butter-side-up on top of the pimento-cheese-covered bread in the skillet. Grill the sandwich until it is golden brown, then flip, grilling a few minutes more until done. Slice the sandwich diagonally into quarters and serve over a small shot glass of tomato soup for a fun party presentation.

[Photography by Amber Harris Photography]