Video: How to Make Pimento Cheese (& 3 Amazing Uses) by Chef Janine Booth of Root & Bone

When we think of Australia, out minds tend to wander to waves, kangaroos, koalas and the outback.  But when it comes to chefs, Curtis Stone may want to step aside.

Janine Booth, Chef de Cuisine & Partner of Root & Bone, is from Down Under and making a name for herself within New York City’s East Village. At the restaurant, photos of specialties (like the fried chicken & waffle sandwich) are continuously snapped and blowing up our Instagram newsfeed. We can’t even be mad about it. To be honest, we just salivate instead. If we worked there, we’d smile (and eat) all day long.

The blonde and bubbly chef grew passionate about food as a child, noticing that backyard barbecues often brought friends and family together. Even at the school lunch table, Janine would trade her basic sandwiches (read: ham and cheese) for the more unique dishes carried by her classmates (Greek lamb wraps, anyone?). Soon after, she started cooking classes and enrolling in competitions to showcase her creativity.

Janine has done her fair share of exploring the globe — spending eight months checking out Spain, France, Belgium, Croatia, Thailand and other countries while on a break from work. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Miami and worked at Gigi’s and Yardbird Southern Table while in South Florida. Janine returned to Northern Thai cuisine as the Sous Chef of Khong River House. The woman can whip up a meal — and people have noticed. The James Beard nominee has appeared on Top Chef New Orleans, too.

These days, she’s landed in the city and calls New York home. With the temperatures dropping, we’re excited for some hearty dishes — enter: three ways to make Pimento Cheese. Check out Janine’s recipes for a comfort food fix.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Cream cheese
  • 3 lbs Grated sharp cheddar
  • 1.5 cups Mayonnaise
  • 10 oz. Roasted bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, grated
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper

Steps

  1. Place cream cheese in an electric mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add all of the cheddar, mayo, bell peppers, onion, salt and pepper.
  3. Beat until well blended.
  4. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Refrigerate until needed.

Pimento Cheese Croquette Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 qt Flour
  • 1 qt Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 qt Canola oil for frying
  • 4 oz. Sweet corn
  • 1 Bunch watercress
  • 1 Bunch Frisee
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Basil
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Steps

  1. Using a 2 oz. ice cream scoop, scoop cheese onto a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Place egg, flour and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls.
  4. When ready to plate, bread each pimento ball starting with the flour, egg and finally bread crumbs.
  5. Using a candy thermometer, heat oil in saucepan to 350 F.
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. To make salad, combine watercress, frisee, corn and tomatoes.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and drizzle with oil.
  9. Toss to combine, place on plate
  10. Top with pimento croquette.

Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Sourdough or grain crusty loaf
  • 2 cups Pimento cheese
  • 2 cups Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup Basil
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 oz. Butter
  • Salt and pepper

Steps

  1. On a sheet pan, lay out slices of bread.
  2. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Turn bread over and spread 1/2 cup of pimento cheese on 4 slices.
  4. Top with tomatoes, basil and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  5. Put the blank slices on top of each.
  6. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high.
  7. Add butter and once melted place each sandwich onto the pan.
  8. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and flip each to repeat on the other side. Remove from pan.
  9. Cut in half and enjoy.

Pimento Cheese Crudité

Steps

  1. For a quick snack or amazing party dip take 1 -2 pounds of your favorite vegetables: radishes, rainbow carrots, celery, endive, cucumbers etc.
  2. Cut to crudité size.
  3. Serve with a large bowl of pimento cheese.

How do you take your cheese? In a salad? As an app? Old-school, grilled cheese style? Leave us your preference in the comments below!

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Hilary Sheinbaum is a University of Florida graduate and Writer/Reporter/Blogger/Person.

Hilary has contributed to dozens of publications including USA TODAY, Marie Claire magazine, ELLE.com, The Village Voice, amNew York and MensFitness.com. She writes about entertainment, food and beverage, love/dating and beauty.

She has been featured on FOX News, HuffPo Live, PIX11 News, StyleBlazer.com and People.com as a Lifestyle and Entertainment Expert.

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