Jeff has a new obsession with pimento cheese. He discovered it last month at Hungry Mother in Cambridge, MA (a wonderful little restaurant, by the way). And he’s been after me for weeks to make it, but I’ve been resisting. Not because the pimento cheese at Hungry Mother wasn’t wonderful (it was), but because every other version I’ve ever encountered has involved a mushy processed flavorless spread that sticks to the top of your mouth.
But since (even after feasting on every family favorite in the last week) Jeff hasn’t let up on the pimento cheese, I decided to give in. Well, sort of. In my search for a decent pimento cheese recipe, I found these Pimento Cheese Toasts in the January 2008 Gourmet Magazine. This recipe will also be part of Gourmet Unbound’s January collection.
These toasts are lovely. What’s not to adore? The spread is gooey, the toasts are crisp, the cheese is tangy. No mush, and no lack of flavor here! And so simple. Insanely simple. Which makes them perfect for a New Year’s Eve hors d’oeuvre.
And since the cheese can be grated and the spread mixed a day or two in advance, they’ll only take about 10 minutes to make on Thursday night. Use really good cheese and you’ll have great toasts.
Pimento Cheese Toasts
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (I used hot paprika and added an extra pinch or two)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper, well drained
salt to taste
1 baguette, sliced crosswise on an angle
Preheat the broiler. Mix together the cheese, cayenne, mayonnaise, red pepper and salt. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for one minute. Remove the bread, flip over each slice and spread the untoasted side of the bread with the cheese mixture. Return to the oven and broil about two minutes until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.