This is a quick, Southern go-to lunch item. A lot of Southern cooks keep a batch of pimento cheese ready in the refrigerator—just in case somebody drops by around lunchtime.
New York Sharp Cheddar block
4 oz jar of pimento
1. Finely shred half of cheddar block into a large bowl. Do not use pre-shredded cheese which contains too much moisture. I slice the block into sections and use a handheld rotary shredder. I got mine at Target. My aunt is still using the shredder she bought in France sixty years ago.
2. Dump the pimento with juice onto a plate and mash (don’t you love the fancy cooking terms?) the pimentos “to release the flavors.”
3. Combine shredded cheese, pimentos, and mayo (1/3 to 1/2 cup??? experiment till “looks right”)
4. Refrigerate. Spread onto bread for sandwiches (the traditional Southern way) or use crackers.
A flavorful Southwest version might include adding some cayenne and jalapenos.
1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well.
2. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt to skillet. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, 3/4 cup water, and salsa. Mash beans in skillet with fork, leaving some beans whole. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced.
3. Top with cheese and cilantro. Cover, turn off heat, and let stand 5 minutes until cheese melts. Serve with taco shells or tortillas and toppings.
1. Wrap tortillas in foil. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.
2. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Sauté cilantro, jalapeño and onion until onion is tender. Add chicken and 1 can of enchilada sauce. Cook 5 minutes.
3. Spoon chicken mix along down centers of tortillas. Roll tortillas. Place, seam side down, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Pour remaining 2 cans of heated sauce over enchiladas, and top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese melts. Garnish with tomatoes and olives. Serve over lettuce.
Also called Mexican wedding cookies—this is the Christmas cookie Anna brought to her “surprise” baby shower—
Servings: 41/2 dozen cookies
• 6 oz. whole pecan halves
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Place the pecans in single layer on cookie sheet. Put pecans in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
2. Allow pecans to cool to room temperature. Process pecans in a food processor until the pecans are finely ground. In a large bowl, add the flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in pecans and combine.
3. With a mixer cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add the vanilla and the flour mixture and mix until well blended.
4. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small ball for each cookie. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. When the cookies cool completely, roll in the powdered sugar.
Quick Tip—boxed batter mix can be used to shorten prep time.
Cinnamon filling—Stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place the filling into a quart-size zippered storage baggie. Allow to thicken at room temperature while completing the next step in the process. Filling texture will be similar to squeezing toothpaste out of a tube when ready for use.
Glaze—Melt the butter over low heat. Add cream cheese and whip until smooth. Remove the pan from heat. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then set aside.
Pancake batter—whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened (small lumps are okay).
Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat to a medium temperature. Utilize an ice cream scoop or 1⁄3 cup measuring cup to add batter to the skillet. Use the bottom of the utensil to spread the batter into an even circle (about 5 inches in diameter). Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Inside the baggie, stir the cinnamon filling before using. Then snip the corner of the baggie. Pipe cinnamon filling on each pancake, beginning from the center and swirling outward.
Cook about 3-4 minutes, until bubbles begin to appear and the pancake is golden brown on the bottom. With a thin spatula, gently and quickly flip the pancake. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
Transfer pancake onto a plate. Re-spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and cook the remaining batter into pancakes.
Drizzle cream cheese glaze over the stack of pancakes and serve. Enjoy.