Tag Archives: Southern Food

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese is known as a Southern specialty.  The basic recipe has just a few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos mixed to a chunky consistency.

While Pimento Cheese is a beloved Southern recipe, it did not originate in the South.  It was probably created through the combined efforts of Northern food manufacturers and cookbook writers in the 1870s  Around the same time, Spain starting sending canned red peppers (pimientos) to the USA.  They became very popular and over time the “i” was dropped from its spelling.

The original Pimento Cheese was created to combine two new products: cream cheese and canned pimentos.  After World War II, home cooks started making their own versions, swapping the cream cheese for cheddar and adding in mayonnaise to combine it all.  Source is Serious Eats.  Check out  their article for more history on this classic recipe.

I have been making homemade Pimento Cheese for a few years now.  It can be used as a spread for crackers, sandwiches, dips, and as a topping for grilled burgers.  A grilled burger topped with pimento cheese takes it to another level of deliciousness.  Try this spread.  I think you will like having it around for snacks.

Pimiento Cheese

  • Difficulty: easy
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4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (8) ounce block cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (4 ounce) jar sliced pimentos, drained

In a food processor, process the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, and seasonings.  Add the pimentos; pulse to combine.  Transfer the Pimento Cheese from the bowl of the food processor to a plastic container or bowl.  Cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.  Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.   Makes about 3 cups.  

We have been getting cooler weather which has my summer perennials fading fast.  At least, the Althea bush still has some pretty blooms for us to enjoy.  Enjoy the few remaining days of summer.

 

 

 

 

Southern Style Green Beans

May 14th is Mother’s Day here in the USA.  For all the mothers out there,  Happy Mother’s Day.  Hopefully, good food will be part of your day.

Mother’s Day is celebrated all around the world in different ways and different times.  Here in the USA, we celebrate the day by giving mothers gifts and flowers and a day off from cooking and other household chores.  My favorite way to spend Mother’s Day is with a family dinner of grilled burgers.

This recipe for green beans is in honor of my own mom.  It is not her recipe because she did not like to cook. Early on in my childhood she became the designated sweet tea maker while my dad did all the cooking.

She may not have cared for cooking, but she was one heck of a gardener. She grew the best green beans as well as many other vegetables. She also had a beautiful flower garden. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of any of her flowers or vegetables.  I wish I did.  I remember that she always grew Kentucky Wonder green beans.  Here is a picture of some Kentucky Wonder green beans courtesy of edenbrothers.com.

I am sure that my love of gardening came from my mom.  I don’t have room to grow vegetables but I do have a lot of summer flowers that I grow and enjoy.  I believe she would love all of them.  Here are a couple of pictures from last summer.

I love green beans cooked any way but I especially love them cooked the Southern way, which essentially means cooked to death.  These green beans will not have the bright green color that you get when cooking until just crisp-tender, but the flavor will make up for it.  This is a very easy recipe to make but it does take some time for the cooking process.  The aroma of these green beans while cooking takes me back to my Southern upbringing.

Southern Style Green Beans

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 pound of fresh green beans or 16 ounce size frozen green beans
1 1/2 slices of bacon, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

If using fresh green beans, wash the beans and snap the ends off.  Leave whole.

In a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan, fry the bacon until most of the fat has been rendered.  Add the onion and sauté about two minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add the green beans, stirring until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add one cup of water.  Cover the pan and simmer on low heat until the green beans are very tender, approximately one hour.   Check the green beans on occasion, and add more water as needed.  Before serving, drain if desired.  

Notes:
1.  When simmering the green beans, you will want a very low simmer and not a rolling boil.
2.  I like to snap the ends off the fresh green beans and cook them whole.  If using frozen, I buy the whole green beans.