Monday, February 27, 2012

Miss Mattie's Southern Pimento Cheese

This recipe is from the February Southern Living Magazine. Pimento cheese is such a southern staple and this recipe will definately be one you want to make over and over! It's be great on some Hawaiian rolls and served as sliders at a brunch or shower!

What you need:
1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted for 8 minutes at 350 degrees)
1 cup mayo
1 (7oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
1/2 cup chopped jarred sweet-hot pickled jalepeno pepper slices
1 tbsp liquid from jalepenos
4 cups fresh grated cheddar cheese

Once pecans have cooled completely (about 20 minutes), stir all ingredients together in a bowl. I chose to do the "Mother of all Pimento Cheese Sandwiches" version of this recipe. It calls for sourdough bread (I used whole grain bread) and sliced, cooked bacon. Spread the pimento cheese on some skillet toasted bread (butter the bread and toast both sides in a hot skillet), top with extra toasted pecans, a few slices of jalepenos and bacon and serve. I didn't do the extra jalepenos like the recipe called for because I'm not a big fan of a lot of heat in my food, but my husband did and like it alot. Great served with a caesar salad!

Bacon Risotto with Creamed Spinach

I had honestly never even thought about trying risotto until about a year ago, and now, I make it at least a few times a month! Now that I'm eating for two, I'm trying to find more ways to get leafy greens into my diet, hence the creamed spinach. I hope you'll try this recipe, it is so delicious!

Bacon Risotto:
3 cups water
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1/2 medium chopped sweet onion
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
2-3 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped

In a seperate smaller pan, heat water and broth and keep on low heat. In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add rice and stir 2-3 minutes, and then add wine stirring until absorbed.
Increase heat to medium high and add chicken broth mixture 1 cup at a time, only adding another cup once the last one has been absorbed. Stir continually. Cook about 25-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and has a creamy consistency. Stir in cream, salt, pepper and remaining butter, stirring an additional 2 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated, then top with bacon before serving.

Creamed Spinach
1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of red pepper flakes
3-4 tablespoons grated parmesean cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat, and then add spinach. It seems like a lot of spinach, but reduces drastically as it cooks. Pour in cream, add red pepper flakes, parmesean and salt and pepper before covering to steam for about 2-3 minutes. Stir as it cooks down. This literally takes 5 minutes and it's ready! I plate the spinach and put the risotto over it. We had it with steak (only added a bit of house seasoning and olive oil to it and cooked on the grill), but it's also great with pork or chicken dishes! Enjoy!