October 25, 2007

Sydney Meers' Neo-Southern Pimento Cheese!

Sydney Meers is a friend of the family, and is the head chef and owner of Stove, located in Portsmouth, Virginia. When my dad and kitty-mom came to visit this week, they brought a recipe that was published in a Hampton Roads publication called Solutions Home. There was a great short article about Sydney and two recipes- Rockfish with Pan-Reduced Fresh Tomatoes and a Compound Shallot Herb Butter and the Pimento Cheese recipe.

Pimento Cheese:

2 cups grated white cheddar, aged for at least 10 months
2 cups grated yellow cheddar, aged 12-15 months
1 1/2 cups Hellman's Mayonnaise (Syd's favorite brand)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup minced leeks, white only
2 each of yellow, red and green bell peppers, roasted and chopped, with juice
salt and pepper to taste

How to roast bell peppers in oven:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core and seed the bell pepper and brush with olive oil, and place on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the skins are blistered and the peppers are soft. Peel off the skins (will be easy after they're roasted).

Mix all ingredients for the pimento cheese together and cover in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to let the cheese and flavors set. Meers is adamant it be served with homemade crackers, but it can also be spread over steak or fish. (We used Stacy's Plain Pita Chips, but plan on using it on steaks later this evening).

The pimento cheese was really different- after it sits, the taste of the roasted peppers and leeks really infuses the whole dish. The aged cheese makes this dish, it would never have the same savory taste if you used regular cheddar. My parents said that it tasted exactly like the one Syd makes himself, but the consistency was a little different, and suggested using 1 cup mayo instead of 1 1/2, which I will. I thought it was perfect, never having tasted Syd's. The only thing that was missing was the company of Sydney himself, but he was with us in spirit. My partner and I can't wait until February when we go to Portsmouth for a visit, and spend an evening eating at Stove...and the eggs.


Anonymous said...

looks like too much mayo...you should add it in fourths so that you can get the texture right. You dont want it mushy. I hardly ever use that much and I make it every other day cuz i am his sous chef. But i am sure its delicious no doubt.

Arties32 said...

Just as we thought- the recipe in the magazine had too much mayo in it... but we made it with less and it was the perfect consistency. Thank you!!