To be honest, I'd never had pimento cheese until this summer when I made it. Perhaps my obsession with specialty styles of cheese got in the way of trying my hand at this American classic. Knowing the pimento cheese spread would be very rich (cream cheese & cheddar) and sweet (jarred pimento peppers), I wanted a briney, spicy pickled jalapeño to balance it out.
The result - an epic blt sandwich that hits the spot, and can become a staple year-round.
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
- ¼ cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
- 1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar), finely diced
- 3 tablespoons high-quality store-bought mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese. Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Pickled Jalapeño Recipe
Adapted from Gimme Delicious
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7-8 jalapeno peppers thinly sliced
Mix the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add jalapeno slices, stir, and remove from heat.
Let sit for at least 8 minutes in the pot then use tongs to remove the jalapenos from the pot to a jar; cover with the brining liquid to fill the jar.
Store in the fridge, and let cool for 30 minutes before using. Store for up to two months.
BLT With Pimento Cheese & Pickled Jalapeños
- 4 slices sourdough bread, sliced
- 8 strips of naturally-smoked bacon
- 1/2 cup arugula, washed
- 1 large, fresh tomato, sliced medium-thickness
- 1/4 cup pimento cheese spread
- 8 pickled jalapeño slices
- 2 t olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 pastry brush
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 cast iron or non-stick skillet
- Turn the oven broiler on high. Using your pastry brush, brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil, and lightly sprinkle them with sea salt. Lay them on a baking sheet. Broil for 2 minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile, heat your skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the 8 strips of bacon on the hot skillet, and cook until crispy while still maintaining a slight bend to the bacon (we want to avoid, dry, over-cooked bacon slices!), about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on a plat lined with a paper towel.
- Spread the pimento cheese on the top and bottom slices of each sandwich. You can always add more pimento cheese, if desired!
- Layer the arugula, pickled jalapeño slices, and tomato slices ontop of each other, respectively. Break the bacon and half and layer that ontop of the tomato. Top with other toasted, cheesed bread slice and cut in half.