Homemade Pimento Cheese Spread and Sazeracs

A cheese board with crackers, salami, pickled vegetables and a bowl of pimento cheese spread.

A Taste of Wild - Gulf Coast

Jon and Aubrey head south to the Gulf Coast to discover the hot, humid bayou country, explore the deep and diverse flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking and share their favorite eats along the way.

Homemade Pimento Cheese Spread and Sazeracs

About sixty miles of Alabama’s southern border collides with the Gulf of Mexico to form a serene coastline, and on this breezy evening, we’re at the very southernmost tip. We’ve had a long day of travel, but it’s worth it to sit and watch the seagulls against the evening sky. My stomach rumbles.

“Babe, do we still have that cheddar in the fridge?”

“Can’t hear you!” Aubrey answers back through the screen door of the RV.

Okay then. I stand and brush the dust from my jeans, and I turn to walk back down the dock toward the RV to whip us up a batch of pimento cheese and Sazeracs.

Pimento cheese spread might be the epitome of comfort food. A tried and true southern party dish, pimento cheese is a blend of cream cheese, mayonnaise and diced pimento peppers. In this recipe, the addition of garlic and chives amps up the flavor to a whole new level.

People from the South will be the first to claim pimento cheese as a staple. While its origins are a bit unclear, the dish became widely accepted at some point in the early 1900s. Nowadays, when you travel through the South, it’s not uncommon to see pimento cheese sandwiches or pimento cheese hot dogs on menus wherever you go.

But like most things in life, this recipe is all about balance. A mixture of three different types of cheeses adds some color and sharpness to the basic spread. Pimento peppers bring a hint of sweetness while garlic adds a spicy zest.

Prepare this spread in advance to give the various ingredients a chance to sit together. Then grab a box of your favorite crackers or a sliced baguette and serve with a garnish of chopped chives to make your pimento cheese look that much more elegant. 

Then serve the whole thing up with a pitcher of Sazeracs. Just make sure you’re parked and settled in for the night, because with spread and drinks this good, you’re going to want to keep the party going all night.

Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese Spread

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups
Prep: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 cup yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup semi-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon pimentos
  • 1  garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • Raw or pickled vegetables or crackers for serving

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Grate both the white and yellow cheeses and mince or grate the garlic.
  2. Combine cream cheese, yellow cheddar, white cheddar, mayonnaise, pimentos and garlic in a bowl. Mix until evenly blended. Season to taste.
  3. Spread on crackers and garnish with chives.
Sazeracs

Sazeracs

Yield: One drink
Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube (or 1 tsp. loose sugar) 
  • Peychaud’s bitters 
  • 1 ½ oz. rye whiskey or Cognac 
  • ¼ oz absinthe (or substitute another anise-flavored liqueur) 
  • Lemon twist

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. To a chilled old-fashioned glass, add the absinthe and swirl to coat the inside of the glass. Discard any excess absinthe. 
  2. Mix whiskey or cognac, three dashes bitters and sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice until sugar is dissolved and alcohol is cold. 
  3. Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.
  4. If serving a friend, hand them the glass and say, “Well, bless your heart” in a thick Southern accent.

Jon and Aubrey used the knife and cutting board from Camp Chef, a brand THOR recommends for easy campground cooking.