Pimento Cheese for the Celery Sticks

    3:04 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
    (Photo: Angie Mosier)
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    Celery comes with buffalo wings, which are popular for the Super Bowl. And now here's something other than ranch to dip those crispy sticks into.

    Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis


    ¦1 1/2 pounds grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 cups)
    ¦1/2 onion, preferably Vidalia, grated
    ¦1/4 cup mayonnaise
    ¦1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained and finely chopped
    ¦Dash of hot sauce
    ¦Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ¦32 bite-size cherry tomatoes
    ¦32 small fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


    To make the pimento cheese, combine the cheese, onion and mayonnaise in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Add the pimentos and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

    Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, slice off the top third of each cherry tomato. Using your index finger or a very small spoon, remove and discard the seeds and inside flesh of the tomatoes.

    To fill the tomatoes, place the pimento cheese mixture in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or use a medium sealable plastic bag with one of the corner tips snipped off. Fill each tomato with the mixture, allowing a little to rise above the tops. Garnish each tomato with a parsley leaf. Serve immediately.

    Making ahead: The prepared cheese filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. The cherry tomatoes can be prepared up to 24 hours before serving: prep the tomatoes and store them, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with damp paper towels. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill.

    Variation: For real comfort food, try warm pimento-cheese toasts. Place slices of sourdough bread on a baking sheet and brown on one side under the broiler. Turn over and thickly spread with pimento cheese. Return to the broiler and toast until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Curl up on the sofa and enjoy.

    Servings: 32 nibbles (or 4 cups filling)

    Nutritional information per serving: 102 calories, 1g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 8g fat (5g saturated), 0g fiber, 23mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium


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