This is not a post on grilled pimento cheese sandwiches (just like regular grilled cheese sandwiches, but better), but this is a post on pimento cheese made specifically to throw on top of burgers on the grill.
What's different about grilling pimento cheese than regular ol' pimento cheese? The absence of mayonnaise. You see, when mayonnaise gets heated to high temperatures it separates and gets all ookey, and that's not what you want on your grilled 'mento cheese burger.
This fabulous idea of taking out the mayonnaise and subbing cream cheese as the binder (some make regular pimento cheese with mayo and cream cheese, but I never have) came to me via Matt and Ted Lee, the cutest, receding-haired James Beard-winning cookbook authors and Southern foods purveyors from Charleston, SC.
This grilling pimento cheese has no mayonnaise, and is formed into a rectangle and chilled so it can be sliced and thrown on top of burgers on the grill, but I sneaked some slices for my lunch sandwiches and it's just as tasty cold as it is melted on the grill.
Pimento cheese is my favorite cheese (it's really more of a cheese spread), and I only know of a few people that don't like or won't try this Southern delicacy, and those people are usually mayonnaise adverse. Now, haters really don't have any excuse to not try pimento cheese.See this jar of Cento sliced pimentos? While there are many brands of jarred sweet peppers out there, I grew up aware of only this brand, and also not knowing that roasted red peppers had any purpose other than pimento cheese. I'm a little more worldly now, but this small Cento jar will always say pimento cheese to me. Feel free to use any brand of jarred roasted red pepper you like, or even roast your own.
Pimento Cheese For Grilling
makes enough for about 4-6 large sandwiches
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt and Ted Lee
8 ounces, extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces roasted red peppers, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon onion, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (These pictures reflect a double batch.)
Mix ingredients until incorporated. (I like to use my hands, but a spoon will work, too.)
Turn mixture out onto a clean surface, and shape into a rectangular block. Wrap pimento cheese block in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until ready to use.Cut pimento cheese block into slices, and top burgers on the grill with slices.