Pimento cheese is widely identified as being southern food. The interesting thing is that it did not start out that way. It was a delicacy for the rich because of expensive ingredients of cheese and imported Spanish peppers. Tea sandwiches made with it were served at high-class events across the nation. Once commercially made cheeses were available and pimentos grown in the south, it went from being expensive to something mill workers would have for lunch. How it became identified as southern is no matter. What does matter is how incredible it is when it is made into a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.
This is an ultimate hot and gooey sandwich. Melted pimento cheese oozes out as you slice it in half or take a bite. It drips down on your fingers which makes it finger-licking awesome. Use hearty country-style white bread to hold up all the gooeyness. I used the recipe for pimento cheese balls (minus the pecans) and grilled it between slices of bread slathered with butter.
What wine to pair with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich? It was not an easy task for me. The mixture of sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, and pepper jack cheeses was challenging because different wines pair with each one. Then the mayonnaise and pimento peppers added even more complexity. I reached out to the wine pairing Sunday Supper contributors, Eileen of Wine Everyday and Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog. They both suggested Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir which worked nicely. The dryness cuts the fat of cheese and mayo. Earthy flavors compliment the pimentos. And Pinot Noir is such a versatile wine for pairing.
April is National Grilled Cheese Month. Sunday Supper is proud to partner with Gallo Family Vineyards to share recipes to celebrate all the goodness of hot, toasty, melty, cheesy sandwiches. Scroll down to find the list and links to each one. We have an incredible lineup and wine pairings too.
- ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon grated onion
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 jar (4 ounces) chopped pimentos, drained
- Thick slices of hearty white bread
- Butter, softened for easy spreading
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade, process cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Add the shredded cheeses and pimentos and pulse to combine. Do not over-process. Transfer pimento cheese to a bowl and stir if needed to combine ingredients thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Do not get too hot or it will burn the butter and bread.
- Butter one side of two bread slices. Spread a thick layer of pimento cheese on the un-buttered side of a bread slice.
- Place pimento cheese covered bread slice butter side down in the skillet. Cover skillet with a lid and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove lid and top sandwich with the other slice butter side up. Cook until bottom is lightly browned and toasted.
- Flip sandwich over and cook until the other side is lightly browned and toasted.
- Transfer sandwich to a plate and slice in half.
- Repeat with remaining bread and pimento cheese or grill 2 to 4 sandwiches at a time, depending on size of skillet. Do not over-crowd the skillet.
- Refrigerate extra pimento cheese for up to 5 days.
Do you enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches? Take a look at these by Sunday Supper contributors featuring or paired with Gallo Family Vineyards wines:
- Apple, Prosciutto and Gruyere Grilled Cheese by Hip Foodie Mom
- Berry Chocolate Panini Sandwich with Wine Reduction Sauce by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Brie, Ham, and Blackberry Grilled Cheese by Healthy. Delicious.
- Cafe Zinfandel Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese by In The Kitchen With KP
- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Arugula Grilled Cheese by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- French Onion Grilled Cheese by Family Foodie
- Funky Monkey Grilled Cheese Sammie by The Messy Baker
- Greek Salad Grilled Cheese by Ruffles & Truffles
- Grilled Cheese & Bison Sandwiches by The Foodie Army Wife
- Grilled Goat Cheese w/ Tomatoes & Tarragon on Olive Bread by girlichef
- Grilled Mascarpone on Chocolate Cherry Bread with Blackberry Cabernet Compote by Desserts Required
- Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich by Magnolia Days
- Honey Glazed Peach and Pork Tenderloin Grilled Cheese by Melanie Makes
- Kentucky Hot Brown Grilled Cheese by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Mediterranean Grilled Cheese by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese by The Dinner-Mom
- Mushroom Duxelles & Asparagus Grilled Cheese by Foxes Love Lemons
- Parmesan Crusted Baked Grilled Cheese by Alida’s Kitchen
- Roast Beef Horseradish Arugula Grilled Cheese by Shockingly Delicious
- Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Olive Grilled Cheese by Neighborfood
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.