Have you ever tried a sandwich spread with real pimento cheese? I did, and that is why I could never imagine my sandwich without it.
Pimiento cheese or commonly called pimento does not only go well with sandwiches, because it can also make crackers, and veggies flavorful and really cheesy. Some people also enjoyed pimento on their salads.
For pimento lovers like me, I am sure you would prefer to get a tub and keep it at home to satisfy cravings. We know that it can be kept for months and still remain safe to eat, but aside from keeping your cheese pimento tub in the cupboard, there are also other options to store it like freezing it or simply refrigerating it.
If you wonder if you can you keep the pimento cheese frozen, the answer is yes. You can keep pimento cheese in the freezer, but it is not really recommended. Frozen cheese especially pimento changes texture after thawing it.
Even if freezing pimento cheese is not recommended, it still is the best way to store it and extend its shelf life. So, let us walk you through the best way of freezing pimento cheese for months and also give you some helpful information.
Your Guide to Pimento Cheese
Southern United States is believed to be where pimento cheese has originated. It is prepared to be used as a dip or as a sandwich spread and has become popular worldwide.
Aside from being used as a dip or spread, it has become a good match with crackers, salads, and veggies. As time passes, it used to almost any dish where it is deemed compatible and makes dishes pimento cheesy.
Basically, it is produced using cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos. There are also different types of pimento cheese available in the market depending on the manufacturer like those with cream cheese that is creamier and smoother.
It is really easy to make your own pimento cheese and the best part is, you can add your own choice of ingredients and seasoning to suit your taste.
Making Pimento Cheese
To know how you can store pimento cheese properly and prolong its shelf life, it is important to understand its ingredients and how it is made. Let us give you the easy steps in making pimento cheese with cream cheese, and maybe you might want to make your own cheesy spread.
Also, remember that you can add your other choice of ingredient or seasoning and here are the easy steps.
- Prepare shredded sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, diced pimentos, and cream cheese.
- Prepare other ingredients or seasonings like garlic, pepper, salt, and other ingredients or seasoning of your choice.
- Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl including the seasoning. You can use an eggbeater or a mixer to ensure that all the ingredients are mixed-well.
- Taste the cheesy mixture and add more seasoning if needed.
- Served the pimento cheese or you can opt to chill it before serving.
You can now enjoy your homemade pimento cheese with cream cheese and from preparing all the ingredients it will take you only less than an hour to do it.
As stated earlier, you can opt to freeze pimento cheese even if we do not recommend it. Remember mayonnaise does not come out well after freezing and it is one of our ingredients.
Using Pimento Cheese
Storing pimento cheese while it is an ingredient to a recipe makes it retain its flavor even after freezing but it can have a different texture. Even if, there are many ways you can enjoy cheesy pimento apart from using it as a dip or a spread. You can choose to use it in a new dish instead of keeping it frozen.
Here are some dishes you can prepare to enjoy pimento cheese as an alternative to just keeping it frozen.
- Macaroni ‘n cheese pasta
- Burgers add-on
- Baked dip
- Stuffed chicken filling
- Cheesy biscuits
- Baked potatoes toppings
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Cheesy casseroles
- Deviled eggs
- Cheese fries
- Cheesy eggs
We suggested that you use pimento cheese to make other dishes as alternative to freezing it so you can still enjoy that thick and smooth pimento cheese. We only listed a few but there are still other ways on how you can enjoy it.
Storing Pimento Cheese
If you had enough of pimento cheese on your dishes and you still have some leftovers, refrigerating it is a good option. It will remain best for not more than three weeks when kept in the fridge provided it is tightly sealed. When you need to use it, just stir or re-mix it to get that thick cream texture.
In case you want to keep it for a month, then freezing is the best option though it may have a different texture after it has been thawed. Still, you need to stir it well or re-mix it to have that thick cream texture because it will become a bit grainy or watery after thawing. In this case, it is best to use it to make some dishes but not as a dip or sandwich spread. You can also use a blender or a food processor to mix it well to make it less watery if not thick like the freshly made pimento cheese.
Freezing Pimento Cheese
Freezing is always the method used to store and prolong food shelf-life, but it is not the best option to store pimento cheese even if you can because it can become watery. However, if you need to keep it good for at least a month or two, freezing is still the best option you just need to know some techniques so it will become less watery if not watery at all after thawing.
- Place the pimento cheese into a food wrap and tighten the wrap. Double wrap it to prevent air from sipping in.
- Put the wrapped pimento cheese in an airtight resealable freezer bag. You can also place it into another freezer bag of the same kind for double layer protection. If you do not have freezer bags, you can place each wrapped pimento cheese in an airtight container.
- Label each package with date for consumption reminder.
- Keep it in the freezer for not more than three months.
You need to thaw the frozen pimento cheese before using it. Remember that it can be a bit lumpy and watery after thawing but the taste will still be the same. To make it a bit smoother, you need to mix it well using a whisk, a food processor, or a mixer. After processing and reaching the thick creamy texture, it will still be good as a dip or a sandwich spread, or you can make it into another cheesy dish.
If it took you three months before using your frozen pimento cheese, check for any sign of spoilage like stinky smell and discoloration. For any sign of spoilage, it is best to discard it right away.
Though freezing your pimento cheese is not recommended, it is still the best way to keep it best for months. Just learn to package it properly for freezing.
Here are some other things you might want to know about pimento cheese.
Is pimento cheese healthy?
Pimiento or pimento cheese is made from a dairy product which is cheese, so it has the inherent nutrients of cheese like Calcium, Iron, Thiamin, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Phosphorus. It is also rich in Vitamins C, B6, and B12. However, it is rich in saturated fat which can cause cholesterol build up.
If you are pimento cheese lover, it can give healthy benefits, but it is good to eat it in moderation to also prevent unhealthy outcomes.
What kind of crackers should I use with pimento cheese?
Most crackers will taste best with pimento cheese on it but if you want it cheesier then plain or unsalted crackers are the best. Some would say it is best on salted or mildly salted crackers, but I guess it depends on what suits your taste. You can always be creative with the kind of crackers you wanted to top with the pimento cheese to make snacks delightful.
How do I know when my pimento cheese is bad?
Like any food, you can see and smell if the pimento cheese is already spoiled. It will get spoiled if you it is not properly packaged before storing it either in the freezer or chiller. You can check if it smells sour or stinky which is the first test to know if it is already spoiled. Next, if it has gone lumpy and you can see little bubbles or grayish particles. If you see these signs better discard it right away.
What are other uses of pimentos?
Pimiento or pimentos also known as cherry pepper is a variety of large, red chili pepper which can be added to different kinds of dishes aside from making a pimiento cheese dressing.