When it comes to potlucks I have two options in my wheelhouse. If it's a snacky type potluck I dump a bottle of cocktail sauce over a block of cream cheese and throw some Club Crackers on the side. For the super fancy potlucks with proper dishes I always bring mini pimento cheese sandwiches.
My friends love these and since several people have asked me for the recipe I thought I'd finally post it here along with a super easy way to make mini finger sandwiches.
I never appreciated pimento cheese growing up in the South but I found a great recipe one day when I was feeling nostalgic for food my grandmother loved. I have adapted this one of the years, varying the sharpness of the cheddars and what not depending on the mood I'm in. I love the smoky, mildly hot flavor of this pimento cheese. The pre packaged ones we always ate were very mayonnaisey, very fake/processed cheesy.
This stuff is great on mini sandwiches, proper sized sandwiches, as grilled cheese and even for topping on a burger.
I wash the pimento jars and reuse them for salad dressing when I pack my lunch.
This idea of super easy mini sandwiches was one a good friend told me about years ago. I believe she used the same concept for ham sandwiches.
I buy Hawaiian rolls but this would work well with any pull apart packaged rolls. King's Hawaiian has a buttery version of these that's really good with the pimento cheese. One of the really great things about the mini sandwich idea is that it's totally scalable.
When I'm potlucking with my group of friends I always buy the largest package so that everyone can take a good amount of these home for the next day. But I've made the smaller pack for road trips and parties where folks aren't hoping for leftovers.
Remove the entire thing of rolls from the package in one piece and place it on a cutting board.
Using a serrated knife, cut the entire package of rolls down the middle. Basically pretend like the entire package is one giant roll you're cutting in half to butter. Take the top off and put it to the side.
Evenly spread the pimento cheese on the bottom half. Make sure to go all the way to each edge so that no sandwich is skimpy on the cheese.
If you prefer a different type of mini sandwich just pretend you're making one giant whatever type of sandwich you want. I think this would be great with thinly sliced turkey and mayo. Or something involving barbecue!
Carefully place the top back on the sandwich, put the entire thing back in the original container then cut along the lines making the gigantic sandwich into amazing individual ones.
I usually place the bottom back into the container before I spread the pimento cheese on it because it's a little heavy and awkward to do afterwards. I got so caught up in taking the pictures that I forgot to do it this time.
Then these guys go right back in the bag they came in.
They are so easy to transport! I used to feel lame leaving them in the package like this but at Southern Brunch yesterday a friend told me that it's part of the charm. I'll take that!
This recipe is adapted from one that was uploaded to Food Buzz but they've changed that site now and I can no longer see the old recipes. I hate that I can't give credit to the original recipe because it's so awesome!
Gina's Pimento Cheese:
16 oz cheddar cheese (freshly grated cheddar is better but I use already grated to save time)
4 oz jar of pimentos including liquid
6 tbsp mayo (I never use the full 6. I add mayo until it is just smooth enough to spread without stealing the cheddar's thunder. Nobody wants a mayonnaise sandwich!)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp red pepper (do not be scared to use this amount of red pepper. I guess it's magic but in this dish it is somehow not spicy hot)
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine shredded cheddar cheese, pimentos including liquid, mayo and spices. Stir until everything is smooth and mixed. Let stand for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
I also usually throw in a pinch of cumin seed and sometimes a dash of smoked paprika. I encourage you to experiment with spices. It's hard to go wrong here.
It's really important to let this mixture sit at room temp for 30 minutes so the flavors marry. Also, please do not serve cheese cold! This can be refrigerated and used later but make sure to remove it from the fridge long enough knock the cold off. Cheese tastes so much better this way.
If anybody decides to try this please come back and let us know how you liked it!
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