Add a little zest to pimento cheese

Robin McDaniel
Fried dill pickles are a good summer side dish to a spiced-up pimento cheese sandwich.

Fried dill pickles are a good summer side dish to a spiced-up pimento cheese sandwich.

When the weather is hot, sometimes a sandwich is just right for dinner. I had a request for a good homemade pimento cheese recipe, so I thought this may just be the right time to share it with the readers.

This pimento cheese recipe has been spiced-up and dressed up. To give the meal a special twist, I have included a recipe for fried dill pickles.

Dress up your sandwich with a couple of slices of bacon and fresh tomatoes, and you’ve got a “gourmet” sandwich plate for supper.

Thanks to my friend Cary Lynn for introducing me to fried dill pickles. I love them dipped in Ranch dressing.

This pimento cheese is also good as a dip for crackers or as an appetizer when served on gourmet crackers and topped with an olive or crunch bacon.

Spicy Homemade Pimento Cheese

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 block or pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 cups mayonnaise

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

1 cup diced pimentos, drained

1/8 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. salt and pepper or season to taste

Using a blender, pulse 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and cream cheese until smooth, just about a minute or so. In a large bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients.

Fold in the cheese mixture from the blender. Mix well. The mixture will be a little lumpy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fried Dill Pickles

1 jar (16 oz.) dill pickle chips or spears

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups cornmeal

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground red pepper

1/2 tsp. hot sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

Vegetable oil or Canola oil

Drain and slightly dry pickles on paper towel. Blend all dry ingredients plus the hot sauce.

Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. Dip each pickle, one at a time, first in the buttermilk, then the cornmeal mixture, coating well. Fry the pickles in oil that is 375 to 400 degrees for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. You can fry several pickles at a time.

Using a slotted spoon, remove pickles from oil and place on a cooling rack or paper towels. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before eating. If desired, season with additional salt.

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