The New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl once again! Against the odds, they pulled out all the stops (or should I say passes and runs!), and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the last minutes of the recent play-off game! Whew! My grown son and my teenage grandson will be stunned to learn that their non-athletic Mom and “Mimi” is so up-to-date on their favorite team!
But rather than keeping track of all the stats and plays of the Super Bowl, I look forward to reading about the down-home fare that fans across America savor while rooting for their hometown teams. Chili, ribs, sausages, burgers–just about anything from the grill–anchor many a table, while salads and baked beans (especially here in New England) play supporting positions. Salivating over this roster of good ideas, I want to offer my own.
This year, I called on my Southern heritage to create mini grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, perfect to serve warm from the oven. A classic preparation of pimento cheese made with sharp white cheddar is paired with cream cheese (for easy spreading), pimentos, and shallots. Hints of cayenne and lemon brighten the flavors. This cheese filling needs to be assembled at least two hours in advance and is even better when made a day ahead. The sandwiches are then assembled on good quality white bread, griddled in some butter, and finished in the oven. Cut into quarters instead of halves, they make perfect little bite-sized sandwiches for nibbling. They are definite winners—no matter the outcome of the game!
Super Bowl LII this Sunday, February 4, 2018! Go Pats!!!!
Print This Recipe
Grilled Pimento Cheese Cocktail Sandwiches
4 oz sharp white cheddar grated
3 oz cream cheese, preferably softened
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp (half of a 4 oz jar) pimentos, drained and chopped
2 1/2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
18 slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus extra if needed
1. For the pimento cheese, combine all ingredients in a medium nonreactive bowl, pressing the mixture with the tines of a fork to blend completely. Refrigerate the pimento cheese until it is chilled and firm, at least two hours or even better overnight.
2. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Have a large baking sheet ready.
3. Place nine of the bread slices on a work surface. Then spread two tablespoons of the chilled pimento cheese evenly on each slice. Top with remaining bread slices. (You may have some pimento cheese left over; save for snacking separately.)
4. With a pastry brush, use half of the melted butter to coat the top of each sandwich generously.
5. Place a large skillet (or a griddle) over medium high heat. When hot, place just enough of the sandwiches, buttered sides down, in the pan so that it is not crowded. Brush the top sides of sandwiches generously with some of the remaining melted butter.
6. Cook until the bottoms of the sandwiches are golden brown, only 1 to 1 1/2 minutes depending on how hot your skillet is. Watch carefully so that sandwiches don’t brown too quickly. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, only 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer sandwiches to the baking sheet and repeat, using extra butter if needed, until all sandwiches have been cooked. (Sandwiches can be prepared 3 hours ahead to this stage. Cool, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.)
7. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven to heat the sandwiches through, 3 to 5 minutes, slightly longer if they have been refrigerated. Remove and cool 5 minutes. Then cut sandwiches into 4 equal triangles. (If the first sandwich is too runny when you cut it, stop and let sandwiches cool a few minutes more.) Arrange sandwiches on a serving plate. Makes 36 sandwiches.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2018