A Southern spread that actually got it’s start in New York, pimiento cheese is made with cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and pimiento peppers. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks and even shows up at some of the South’s finest restaurants.
This wonderful allergy-friendly version of pimiento cheese can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches, as a spread for crackers and veggies, or alongside fried green tomatoes for a real splurge.
Some spell it pimiento…others…pimento.
Either way, we say, bring on the “P-cheese”!
Oh yeah…we’ve added a little spice to this pimiento cheese.
Making it is as easy as combining allergy-friendly mayo, paprika, sriracha, a little salt and pepper and then adding shredded cheese and diced pimientos. Simple, huh? And, oh so delicious!
A Hidden Allergen
The diced pimientos we found in a jar contained citric acid, which is often derived from corn. Who knew?
Even though corn is not one of the top 8 allergens, it is estimated that about 10 million people have an allergy to corn. It’s difficult to differentiate corn allergies from allergies to grass pollens and to other seeds and grains.
Corn can be an irritant for some people as the proteins in corn have similar structure to the protein in gluten. These people include those with celiac, Hashimoto’s and gluten sensitivity.
And because this chemically produced citric acid is used as a preservative, we drained and rinsed the peppers well.
Most of the chemically produced acids are used to boost acidity and enhance flavors of drinks and food, and also act as a preservative in many dairy products.
It’s a great thing that not all citric acid is created equal. The citric acid our body loves, naturally occurs in many organic vegetables and fruits, especially citrus, and acts as an antioxidant and alkalizing agent.
Can’t Have Corn?
We also made a batch roasting our own peppers.
Pimientos are a variety of mild chili peppers called “cherry peppers.” The copycat of the term pimiento actually translates to bell pepper.
Roast Your Own
So, if you’re looking to roast your own peppers, and can’t find fresh pimientos, red bell peppers are a great replacement.
There are several ways to roast peppers. We like to roast ours over the gas stovetop flame. If you don’t have gas, a good way is to roast peppers is in an oven at 400-degrees F. This will take about 20 minutes, turning peppers halfway through.
When the skin is charred and soft, transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for 15 minutes. Covering allows them to steam as they cool, which loosens their charred skin. Now remove the stem, seeds, and skin.
To have the best tasting roasted peppers, do not rinse the peppers after roasting, or all the roasted goodness will be washed away.
Dice peppers and use in place of jarred pimientos for a delicious spread that can be served in so many ways.
We can’t wait for next year’s Kentucky Derby party! Yah, pimiento cheese!
Bon Appetit, Ya’ll!
Yield 4 Servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
This wonderful allergy-friendly version of pimiento cheese can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches, as a spread for crackers and veggies, or alongside fried green tomatoes.
1/4 cup allergy-friendly mayonnaise, such as Follow Your Heart Soy-free Vegenaise
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups allergy-friendly cheddar block, shredded, such as daiya medium cheddar style farmhouse block
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained, rinsed and diced (see recipe notes)
- In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, paprika, sriracha, salt, and pepper.
- Add cheese and pimientos.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
The jars of diced pimientos we found all contained citric acid, which is often derived from corn. If corn is an issue, you can roast your own peppers. If you can't find fresh pimientos, red bell peppers are a great replacement.
There are several ways to roast peppers. We like to roast ours over the gas stovetop flame. If you don't have gas, a good way is to roast in an oven at 400-degrees F. This will take about 20 minutes, turning peppers halfway through.
When the skin is charred and soft, transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let steam for 15 minutes. This makes it easy to now remove the stem, seeds, and skin.
Dice peppers. Substitute a scant 1/2 cup in place of jarred pimientos.