We nominate pimento cheese to replace the pineapple as the Southern symbol of hospitality. After all, is there anything more hospitable to crackers, bread—heck, even pickled okra—than pimento-cheese? Enjoy. (And enjoy the bonus recipe for Pickled Okra Poppers, too.)
***Make sure and check out the end of the recipe for a bonus recipe! Pickled Okra Pimento Poppers that you dip in Pimento Cheese!
“In the south, pimento cheese is a staple in refrigerators. We wanted to be true to the tradition of pimento cheese, but also make it a little more unique – enter Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. This brings a welcome flavor and kick that is often missed in traditional Pimento Cheese.” – Walt Alexander of Pine State Biscuits
¼ cup (½ stick) Tillamook Unsalted Butter, melted
1 cup goat cheese
1 cup (7.3 oz) mayonnaise
¼ cup roasted garlic
1 can (14 oz) roasted red peppers, lightly drained and rinsed (keep some of the oil and char)
4 cups (16 oz) Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh dried thyme 1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
Place melted butter, goat cheese, mayonnaise, and roasted garlic in a food processor. Blend to an even consistency. Then add drained and rinsed roasted red peppers to food processor and blend. Blend roasted red peppers until the desired consistency (there should be some texture to the blended peppers, so don’t pulverize into a paste. Leave some heavy flecking of peppers, and don’t puree mixture too long). Use spatula to put mixture into a large mixing bowl. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add thyme and cook and stir until oil is fully incorporated and you can smell the thyme aroma. Add oil and thyme mix, shredded white sharp cheddar, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix. Now you have Pimento Cheese! Place Pimento Cheese in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. This will allow the cheeses and mayo to combine and become thick and creamy. Enjoy with anything – crackers, fried grit cakes, or even as the cheesy element to a southern style grilled cheese sandwich!
*** Bonus Recipe – Pickled Okra Pimento Poppers!
Patience is key as the pickling process takes a month, but these poppers are worth the wait!
24 pieces fresh okra
¼ cup whole garlic, peeled
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
4 Serrano chilies, stems removed
3 cups (24 oz) apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
¼ teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pickle Okra Poppers
1 cup (4.5 oz) self-rising flour
1 cup (6.3 oz) corn flour
⅓ cup (1.6 oz) cornmeal
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1¼ cups eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon green Tabasco sauce
¼ cup (2.1 oz) buttermilk
1 (4.5 oz) all-purpose flour
½ gallon fry oil
Rinse okra thoroughly, trim stems, and place in a sealable glass container. Add garlic, chopped dill, and Serrano chilies to okra. In a separate pot, create a pickling liquid by bringing apple cider vinegar, chili flakes, cumin seed, and salt to a boil. Let liquid cool for 5 minutes before adding it to the okra. Fill the container with pickling liquid until the okra is completely submerged, then cover with a lid and refrigerate. Wait one month!
Pickled Okra Poppers
Remove okra from liquid and place in strainer to fully drain. Save liquid for another single round of refrigerator okra pickles, or dispose of responsibly (it makes for a wonderful Pickleback!). Create dry dredge mixture by combining self-rising flour, corn flour, cornmeal, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl. Create wet dredge mixture by combining the beaten eggs, green Tabasco, and buttermilk in a separate bowl. Once okra is dry, gently toss it in all-purpose flour. Dip okra in whisked egg, green Tabasco, and buttermilk mixture. Then dip okra in dry dredge mixture until fully coated. Place on sheet pan lined with wax paper and pan spray, then place sheet pan in freezer for 30 minutes to set. Heat fry oil to 350°F and cook poppers for 2-3 minutes (until coating is golden brown). If you don’t have a deep fryer a deep cast iron kettle full of soy/canola oil will also work. Enjoy by dipping in Pimento Cheese!