Dear Kai Ryssdal,
You waxed eloquent on Marketplace in your disbelief about pimiento cheese sandwiches. It is clear from your derisive remarks that you had a deprived childhood, you poor dear. For sure you didn’t grow up in the South or know anyone who did. You must be one of about three people who has never heard of this quick, filling, unpretentious, and very inexpensive choice for lunch or afternoon snack.
Courtesy of the Food Network, here’s the recipe with my additions and suggestions in parenthesis.
Grate two cups of extra sharp cheddar cheese (the recipe calls for yellow, but it really doesn’t matter except for color). Add a half-cup of mayo, three tablespoons of chopped pimientos, two tablespoons of grated onion, a teaspoon of yellow mustard, an eighth-teaspoon of cayenne pepper (I’d double that amount). Salt and pepper to taste. Spread on white bread (traditionally with crusts removed.) (Tomatoes and lettuce are not traditional but don’t hurt.) That’s the basic.
Additions include bacon (also Food Network), Worcestershire sauce (Southern Living), a splash of brine from the pimientos and garlic (Saveur). SL recommends grilling the finished product, but I’ve never tried that.
May I recommend you ask one of your colleagues from below the Mason-Dixon line to change your opinion by making your one of these great southern classics?