Palm Beach Sandwiches
(Pimento Cheese Sandwiches)
Despite their genteel Floridian name, these cheddar cheese and red pepper salad sandwiches are popular throughout the South. Good cooks embellish them variously (substituting homemade red pepper conserve or diced green chiles for the roasted peppers or adding chopped pecans); hurried cooks don't hesitate to resort to jarred pimientos.
2 large heavy red sweet peppers
3/4 cup mayonnaise, fresh or purchased
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
16 thick slices white sandwich bread
- In the flame of a gas burner or under a preheated broiler, roast peppers, turning them, until the skins are lightly and evenly charred. Slip the peppers into a paper bag, close the top and steam the peppers until cool. Rub away the burnt peel, then stem and core the peppers and finely chop them.
- In a large bowl, stir together the chopped peppers, mayonnaise, green onions, lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Gradually stir in the grated cheese, mixing thoroughly. The sandwich filling can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate; return it to room temperature before proceeding.
- Up to 30 minutes before serving time, lay 8 slices of the bread on a work surface. Divide the filling evenly among the slices, spreading it to the edges of the bread and using it all. Top with the remaining 8 slices of bread. With a serrated knife, carefully cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal. Cover the sandwiches with plastic wrap and then drape them with a dampened towel until serving.
Makes 8 sandwiches, or 16 servings for a party.
Tip: For tea sandwiches, trim crust from bread and cut each sandwich into 4 triangles. Makes 32 tea sandwiches.
Recipe provided courtesy of the American Dairy Association.