Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food Inspired Friday: Southern Tradition

Today's Food Inspired Friday celebrates Southern Tradition!

Two wonderful Southern traditions are taking place this weekend. Locally, we have the North Carolina Azalea Festival, and on top of that, golf fans 'round the world will be practicing their most demure golf claps while celebrating the ultimate tournament, the Masters. Since most of you aren't from Wilmington, I'll wait and chat about our Azalea Festival next week when I have pictures to share. 

If you'll be at home (or in person!) watching the Master's, keep your celebration traditional with a classic Pimento Cheese Sandwich on white bread and a side of sweet tea.  I don't know if the Masters is really considered a "Southern" tradition, but I'm positive the traditional fare is!

Pimento Cheese is one of my favorite southern foods. When I was young and my mom went back to work, we started eating at Harper's Restaurant in Greensboro just about once a week, and that's where I was first introduced to the ultimate Pimento Cheese.

Harper's serves their Pimento Cheese hot with tortilla chips and honestly, I still think that's the best way to enjoy it.  I've never found a store brand that I really love so you can imagine how excited I was when I recently found the recipe for Harper's Pimento Cheese online (via the Charlotte Observer).  

This dip has a strong taste of mustard (which I love) and the red wine vinegar lends a nice tang that makes you wonder what the heck is in there that makes it so good! 

* 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
* 1/2 c. Duke's mayonnaise
* 9 oz. whole pimentos, drained and chopped
* 2 to 3 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
* 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
* 1/4 tsp. celery salt
* 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
* 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
* 1 tsp. hot sauce

Combine all ingredients.  Chill thoroughly before serving, or microwave in 30 second increments until melted for a hot cheese dip.

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