This is the official recipe testing site for the forthcoming Southern Vegetarian Cookbook from the creators of The Chubby Vegetarian blog.
Testers, we want to know everything, so please be thorough. Have a pen and paper out when you cook and make notes about the difficulty of each recipe, its accuracy, and any notes about disambiguation. Type your comments into the comments section below the recipe you are testing.
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I thought that everyone ate pimento cheese sandwiches growing up. I had no idea until recently that it's a Southern thing. The largest producer of pimentos is actually in Tennessee. I'll just add this to the growing list of reasons I love living in the South: heart, soul, and pimiento cheese.
All of you who live down here know that you can't go into any restaurant, be it humble or fancy-pants, without seeing some version of pimento cheese on the menu. The crazy thing is you could order the pimento cheese from every establishment and get something a little different every time. Each kitchen has their own blend of cheeses and spices that makes it their signature pimento cheese. The truth is, though, it's one of those things you almost can't screw up because the ingredients are just too good.
My version is spiced with plenty of fresh thyme, lemon zest, and shallots. I tend to use a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and soft goat cheese to give my pimento cheese a tangy, up-front flavor. Here I've stuffed the mixture into tiny marinated sweet peppers that I found on the olive bar at Whole Foods. This mixture also makes a wonderful sandwich, but these tiny stuffed peppers are the perfect thing to have with a glass of wine in the early evening hours just as the Southern sun dips below the horizon.
Lemon Zest + Thyme Pimento Cheese:
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
4 ounces soft goat cheese
4-6 sprigs fresh thyme (stems removed)
zest from one lemon
1/4 cup mayo (I use vegan mayo or olive oil mayo)
1 medium red bell pepper (about 1 cup, finely diced)
Zest the lemon using a microplane and pull leaves from the sprigs of thyme by running your pinched fingers down the stem. Mix the cheddar, goat cheese, thyme, zest, mayo, bell pepper, vinegar, shallot, black pepper, and salt until incorporated. It's as simple as that. Refrigerate and allow the flavors to meld for at least an hour for best results. To make stuffed peppers, roll about a teaspoon of the mixture into a ball and pop it into the cavity of the pepper. You may use a measuring spoon or a melon baller to help for the ball. Garnish with sweet paprika and a tiny sprig of fresh baby dill.
*Mince the shallot then place it into a mesh strainer. You will only need about a tablespoon. Run the minced shallot under cold water for a few seconds. This will take away any raw onion flavor and keep the shallot from overpowering the dish.
Testers....will you also make a sandwich with this pimento cheese recipe?