Pimento Mac and Cheese

Despite having just recently posted a mac and cheese recipe, I wanted to get this recipe up prior to Turkey Day.  During a recent twitter chat (#turkeytalk), I recommended this dish as a side dish and a dish for the Vegetarians at your table.  This is a take on a delicious version found in Ann Arbor Michigan at Zingerman’s Roadhouse.  I have had numerous meals there, and none of them disappoint.  One of their specialties is a pimento mac and cheese and I was actually able to find their recipe for the pimento cheese.

All I did for this recipe was substitute the pimento cheese for cheese I added to the bechamel sauce.  I will post the entire recipe here again, including the pimento cheese.  The recipe calls for a lot of mayo, so its not the best on its own, but I think if you wanted to make it as a spread, swap half the mayo for a creamy whipped cream cheese.  I also used the olive oil mayo. I also took a shortcut and didn’t boil the milk with bay leaves.  Without further adieu…

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta, I used Penne
1 1/2 cups milk (low-fat is fine too, and I even used lactose free)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Pimento Cheese (Recipe Follows)
Freshly ground black pepper
salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs (fresh or store bought if necessary)

Preheat oven to 400.  Bring a large of water to boil, seasoned well with salt.

Cook pasta about 2-3 minutes less than the directions on the box say, until very al dente. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain well and place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter starts to foam, add flour and whisk to mix.  Cook, stirring regularly, for about 4-5 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add about 1/4 cup to butter/flour mixture. Whisk well and once it becomes smooth, add a little more milk at a time, whisking, almost like making risotto.  Once milk has been added, mix in pimento cheese.

Pour sauce over pasta and mix.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 baking pan (dutch oven works too).  Top with bread crumbs and cook 15-17 minutes, or until bubbling and browned.  Serve hot. Enjoy!!

Zingerman’s Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mayo
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
3/4 teaspoon juice from canned roasted pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch salt

Fold all ingredients together in a small bowl.

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
This entry was posted in cheese, main course, pasta, side dish, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pimento Mac and Cheese

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Pimento Mac and Cheese | The Carnivore and the Vegetarian -- Topsy.com

  2. Lovely combo of flavour! I’m drooling over the pictures!

  3. Donny H. says:

    Zingerman’s pimento cheese really rocks. It’s even better than most pimento cheese you can get here in the South.

  4. Yes, yes it does. I can’t say I’ve had any in the south though…

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