Maybe in other places in France you can buy roasted sweet red peppers, packed in jars, in the local supermarkets. I have come across them once in a while, but not in the supermarkets in Saint-Aignan. I went to Super U yesterday to look for some because I wanted to make pimento cheese, a standard preparation in the U.S. South.
I had bought a wedge of Mimolette cheese last week and making it into pimento cheese sounded like a good idea. It was "young" (mild) Mimolette and was made in the Netherlands. At Super U I looked for a jar or tin of roasted red peppers ("pimentos" in U.S. parlance) but struck out. However, I found a wedge of aged (riper, harder, sharper) Mimolette, made in France, that I thought would give good flavor combined with the younger cheese. The package said the Mimolette demi-vieille was aged for a minimum of six months.
I also found fresh red bell peppers and I knew I could roast them myself. It was Walt's suggestion as a solution to the lack of roasted peppers in jars. So I didn't come home empty-handed. How do you make pimento cheese? In this case, first you roast the peppers until the skin starts to blacken and blister, and until the peppers start to collapse. Then you split them open and remove the skin, the stem, and the seeds. Next you grate the cheese or cheeses you're using.
To the grated cheese(s), add some softened cream cheese and mix well. For a pound (450 grams) of grated cheese, you need between 5 and 8 oz. (150 to 225 grams) of cream cheese (fromage à tartiner). To give the cheeses a nice speadable texture, gradually add small amounts of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or thick crème fraîche — or a combination of those ingredients. Season it with onion and/or garlic powder, hot red pepper sauce, and black pepper. Once you have the texture you want, dice up the flesh of a roasted red pepper and gently stir it into the mixture. Serve chilled pimento cheese on toasted bread, on crackers, or as a sandwich filling. It's also good semi-melted on a cheeseburger.
This was something we had often as a child, in the south. I loved pimento cheese spread and haven't thought of it or seen it for a long time. Obviously you grew up with it too. Pimento cheese on pain de mie. Sounds great.ReplyDelete
It's pretty tasty. My mother made it back in the 1950s and '60s, but I think she used just mayonnaise and no cream cheese with grated cheddar. You could also buy it ready-made in the grocery stores back then. One reason I wanted to make it this time was that I have a nice loaf of pain de mie that I bought our our village bakery.Delete
Yes, we bought it in little tubs in grocery stores. Often my school lunch back in the day. ;-)Delete
Creamy prepared horseradish is another nice addition. I started making it a couple of years ago. I use more sour cream, to keep the mixture more spreadable.ReplyDelete
I never thought about adding horseradish before. Of course horseradish is not easy to find on supermarket shelves out here in French countryside.Delete
lots of jalapeno pimento cheese around here in western NCReplyDelete
That sounds good. I usually add some Texas Pete or other hot red pepper sauce to mine.Delete
Pimento cheese is everywhere here with many variations. A friend of mine puts pecans in hers, it's all yummy. I have a little jar of pimento ready to make today. I make it like you do. I add a tomato for a yummy sandwich. Did you grind it with a hand held truc with the handle on the side?ReplyDelete
The addition of pecans sounds like a good idea. I just grated the Mimolette cheese using a box grater this time. You could also make the cheeses into a paste using a food processor and then at the diced roasted pepper. And yes to the tomato!Delete
I’m sure this the first food post of yours that I cannot do. Sorry.ReplyDelete
What's not to like? A fairly hard cheese like Cheddar or Mimolette softened by the addition of spreadable cream cheese and "sweetened" slightly by the addition of roasted red bell pepper. Oh well. On ne discute pas des goûts et des couleurs.Delete
I had never had this until a friend from Tennessee brought some to a gathering of my book club friends at our cottage at Lake Chautauqua. It is delicious.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you liked it. Since so much of the cheese eated in the U.S. is Cheddar, pimento cheese is a nice way to give some variety to life.Delete
Could you use cheese like Reblochon or even Msroilles or Neuchátel?ReplyDelete
The point of pimento cheese is to turn a hard cheese into a spreadable cheese. Roasted red peppers would be good with any cheese, though — especially a cheese with a strong flavor. I'm not sure Reblochon qualifies in that regard. Neufchâtel might be good, and I think I'll try it.ReplyDelete