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Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
Recipe courtesy of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook;
Pimento Cheese for Grilling:
For each Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich:
NOTE: Add 3 tablespoons mayonnaise to the cheese mixture for a traditional pimento cheese spread. This thinner spread is NOT suitable for grilling, however.
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Click image to enlarge.
Turn on the broiler. Place the pepper on its side in a dry skillet and slide it under the broiler until the skin blackens on the side facing up, about 3 minutes. With tongs, turn the pepper so that an unblackened side faces up, and repeat until the skin is blackened on all sides. Place the pepper in a small bowl, cover it, and let it steam for 5 minutes as it cools down.
Uncover the bowl. When the pepper is cook enough to handle, transfer it to a cutting board, reserving any liquid in the bowl. Remove the blackened skin with your fingers and discard. Using a paring knife, cut open the pepper, remove and discard the stem and seeds, and chop the pepper into 1/4-inch dice. You should have a scant 1/2 cup.
Place the grated cheddar in a medium bowl and add the cream cheese pieces, the diced red pepper and its liquid, and the red pepper flakes. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, cream together thoroughly, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Turn the cheese mixture out onto a cutting board and use a spatula to gather it into a rectangular block about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide, and 2 inches high. Wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use.
For each sandwich, lightly toast the bread. Shingle the cheese on one side of bread, top with another slice of bread. Melt butter in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwich in the skillet and pan-fry until golden brown. Flip, cover the skillet, and cook for 3 minutes more, or until golden brown.
Serve at once.