This gluten free Cajun 'Caviar of the South' pimento cheese spread is creamy, cheesy, and can't-stop-eating-it addictive. My over the top version of the popular Southern classic takes only 20 minutes to pull together. By the time it's chilled and ready to eat, all of the separate flavors have married into yum to the tum deliciousness that you eat on gluten free crackers, bread, or cut-up veggies. Yep and yay...
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I'm a Brand New Fan of Cajun 'Caviar of the South' Pimento Cheese, Y'all
I have a sort of shameful confession to make: I have never really liked pimento cheese. Truth is, as popular as it is in the South, it's never really been a part of my life. In fact, I don't remember seeing it on too many party tables growing up. And, I can't say that it's been offered to me much in my adult life, either.
I do, however, remember being served pimento cheese spread at a graduation party about 15 years ago. It was the kind that came in an off-brand plastic tub. You know, the gummy, almost gelatin-like one with the weird orange color?? Yep, that one...
Well, the hostess of the party handed me a plastic tub pimento cheese sandwich, so I felt obligated to take a bite. And then the bite stuck to the roof of my mouth. And then I had to wait for a couple of people to move out of the way so I could get to my punchy soda drink.
I was probably only standing there for like a minute or so. But, the somewhat slimy pimento cheese spread stuck to the roof of my mouth like that made it feel a month, y'all. And, once I got to my drink, it took a couple of swallows of the sparkling punch to loose me from my miserable mouth bondage.
I mean, what was really in that pimento spread if it cemented itself to the roof of my mouth in 3 seconds flat. Then, took more than one big beverage sip to unloose?
Yep, I am shaking my head and thinking 'I don't know,' too!! But, I do know that I remember covering the pimento spread sandwich with chips, then eating around it until my hostess was out of site. And sliding it straight into the trash when I knew she wasn't looking. Yep.
So, you see, a pimento cheese recipe wasn't something I ever thought I would do for the blog. And I was quite happy and proud of this decision. But, lately I've been hearing a lot about 'Caviar of the South' online, in print, and on TV. So, I checked it out. And lo and behold it's just pimento cheese!!
And people rave about it!! And they eat it on everything they can get their hands on!! And they say that's it's one of the best things they've ever eaten!!
So, I felt that it was time for me to admit that I may have been wrong about this 'Caviar of the South' pimento cheese thing. And I immediately busied myself obsessing over how I was going to create my own version of it.
And true to form, I injected some south Louisiana flavor into it, making it a Cajun 'Caviar of the South' pimento cheese version that's more suited to my palate. In fact, I even got to use some of the Tabasco pickled okra slices I got on a recent tour of Tabasco in Avery Island in the recipe. Yay!!
The Trick to Making this Cajun 'Caviar of the South' Taste Just Right
First, you brown the chopped 'trinity' of onion, bell pepper, celery in a small pot. Next, add the garlic for just a minute til that browns. Then, let the mixture cool slightly...
Then, you pour the 'trinity', and all of the other ingredients into a large bowl, and mix it by hand for a minute or two until thoroughly combined...
Then, you cover the bowl and put it into the fridge. For eight hours. Yep. Preferably overnight, if you can handle it. You see, the myriad flavors inside of this Cajun 'Caviar of the South' need a while to combine.
Trust me. One to two hours just isn't going to cut it. Nope. Not for the 'oh my, this is sooo good' reaction you'll want from yourself and from everyone else who eats it. After eight hours, the flavors are going to be right where you want them to be. And, if you're like Mark and I, you and the lucky person you share it with will be gluten free cracker-fighting for it until it's all, all gone.
Sharing this now can't live without Cajun 'Caviar of the South' pimento cheese recipe with a renewed perspective, y'all. Hope it changes the way you see this recipe if you've had a past mentally scarring pimento cheese experience like I have. See y'all on the yum side...
Cajun 'Caviar of the South' Pimento Cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ⅓ cup chopped celery
- ⅓ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup pepper Jack cheese
- ¾ cup jarred pimentos drained
- 2 small Tabasco Spicy pickled okra seeds and membrane removed
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- Brown the 'trinity' of onion, celery, and green bell pepper in a skillet. Add the garlic to the pot,, and brown for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat.
- Pour slightly cooled trinity and garlic into the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl with a fitted lid. Stir for a minute or two, or until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Serve cold with gluten free chips, crackers, bread, or cut-up fresh veggies.