August 8, 2018 10:58:52 AM
If pimento cheese is already part of your life, then you are blessed for sure. If not, get ready for life to get a little bit better.
And get ready for one of the best burgers of your life.
It's dangerous ground for a Yankee like me to start messing around with a Southern recipe like pimento cheese. This may well not be how you (or your mom or grandma) make it. But I've done a bit of research now, and a bit of testing, and I humbly submit this version for your consideration.
Don't use pre-grated cheese for this -- freshly grated cheese tastes better and makes the mixture adhere together better. Talented Southern chef Griff Day shared his secret ingredient with me: He uses a splash of bourbon in his pimento cheese, and that little trick really seems to add some depth and extra flavor to my version as well. If you don't have smoked paprika on hand, you can sub in regular paprika, or just skip it.
Make this at least one day ahead to allow the flavors to meld. Serve leftovers (there will be leftovers, and you will not be sorry about that) with crackers.
Hey, by the way -- I would still like to hear how you or your mom or dad or Aunt Matilda makes their pimento cheese. Seriously -- I have yet to meet a version of this dish that I don't love!
BURGERS WITH PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD
Start to finish: 45 minutes (this doesn't include the minimum one day of refrigeration for the pimento cheese)
Pimento cheese spread:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Large pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 7-ounce jar pimentos, drained and minced
Kosher salt, to taste
1-1/2 pounds ground chuck (about 80/20)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
6 hamburger buns, to serve, toasted if desired
Sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce to serve (optional)
Nutrition information per serving: 535 calories; 331 calories from fat; 37 g fat (14 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 102 mg cholesterol; 742 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 26 g protein.
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