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Pimento cheese doesn’t have to be eaten in a sandwich – and neither does it need to contain pimento. Say what?! Before you flay us alive for our heresy, let us hurriedly explain that we replaced the pickled pepper with fermented home-made kimchi. And we, frankly, think it’s even better.
Pimento cheese, the iconic spread of the American south, turns out not to be very southern at all – at least in terms of its origins. It’s so associated with the south that it’s hard to imagine the spread (a mix of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise and diced red pimentos) as coming from anywhere else, but our friends at Serious Eats did a little digging and discovered that pimento cheese actually got its start up north, in New York, as a way to market the burgeoning production of cream cheese.
In the 1870s, New York farmers started making a soft, unripened cheese, similar to Neufchâtel, that eventually evolved into cream cheese. Around the same time, Spain started exporting canned red peppers — or “pimiento” — to the United States. Eventually a combination of the cheese, peppers and mayonnaise became the spread we know today and like any good origin story, the lore soon outgrew its humble beginnings and pimento cheese became a staple of church picnics and neighborhood potlucks and fancy restaurants all over the southern U.S.
While most loved between two slices of bread, the cheese spread is versatile enough to lend itself to a variety of uses – as a dip, as a topping (think cheeseburgers, or our favorite, patty melts), and even as a stuffing for meats like chicken breasts, or pork chops.
This post is kind of dedicated to two people, and the first one is me. At the age of, oh, about 12, I don’t think there was a single thing in the world – except perhaps, mashed potatoes – that I loved with all my heart more than butterscotch flavored Angel Delight....read more
We made these again and finally took pictures so I'm re-posting. I also changed the recipe a little, adding a bit of cornstarch to the batter and reducing the panko. I used to make a similar kind of cake with salmon which was delicious but a little trickier to make...read more
I've already admitted that I've become obsessed with cucumbers since discovering my dog loves them so much. I love them in cocktails, dipped in Feta-Yogurt Sauce, even just plain. But lightly pickled with rice vinegar and sesame oil is my all time favorite. This is an...read more
I'm not sure what it is about fish sauce but it's kind of like flavored crack to me. It's salty and fermented and shouldn't be addictive but I'd sneak this sauce into rehab and drink it in the bathroom if I had to. What? Stop looking at me like that. [It's worth...read more
It's October, and the bulk of the vegetable garden is finished for the season. Of course, our herbs are still going strong on the deck, and we're still pulling out ripened tomatoes, but the soil beds are now empty. For our first year, we didn't do too badly. Here's a...read more
For me, lamb is definitely hit or miss. I either really enjoy it or really, really, really don't. There is very little middle ground. If it's too gamey, I don't like it. Overcooked, blech. Undercooked, even worse! Needless to say, I've made some expensive lamb...read more
Maybe it's just me, but for years I was completely intimidated by the idea of poaching eggs. I could make them pretty much any other way but poaching... um, no. I attempted it a few times and ended up with watery egg drop soup. Gag. The thing is, I really...read more
Inspired by The Hop's Kale and Almond Pesto, we made a walnut version for our Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Kale Walnut Pesto. Even if kale is not your favorite thing, this is a good way to try it because it's so good for you, but also deliciously cheesy/nutty. It...read more
This polenta is meant to have a soft, porridge-like consistency. We used it for Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Kale Walnut Pesto but it would be great with any kind of stew, as a substitute for mashed potatoes or noodles. What you're looking for is course,...read more
I'm embarrassed to admit it but Matt and I have lived in Beacon for over a year and we just made it to The Hop for the first time. It's shameful, I know. If you haven't heard of it, it's kind of a craft beer mecca, half store, half gastro-pub. They have a tiny bar...read more