The Pimento Cheese Sandwich - p.2

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The Bread, the Replica and the Quick & Dirty

 

THE BREAD

 

A preliminary word about bread. For the Masters pimento sandwich, only white bread will do. You will notice that in some of the pictures below, the bread seems yellowish because it is Martin's Potato bread. I went to two supermarkets and neither had Wonder and Martin's potato bread is really soft with no strong flavor -- like fresh white bread (the buns make amazing burgers btw). Martin's would pass the test for any true white bread - you can't eat two slices alone in under a minute (it's a classic bar bet if you've never hear of this and no drinking allowed).

White Sliced Bream Martin's Potato Bread and Peasant Bread
White Sliced Bream Martin's Potato Bread and Peasant Bread

 

ABOUT MAKING SANDWICHES

 

Sandwiches, perhaps more than any other form of cooking, are not really about the recipe and exact amounts. There has to be a little feel and judgment as you go along. Unlike baking brioche or even making a basic Bolognese sauce, we've all eaten (and probably made quite a few) a million sandwiches and we know what we like. We do not need to be a slave to exact amounts a precise amounts, especially for a cheese sandwich. Taste the pimento cheese spread as you go and adjust accordingly. 

 

The recipes below make 2-3 sandwiches.

 

 

THE REPLICA

 

We looked at the actual Masters ingredient list and tried to make the same.

 

Ingredients

  • processed shredded yellow american cheese (6 oz) - or chopped up if you bought sliced
  • shredded swiss cheese (6 oz) - processed or emmental is neutral enough
  • 2 oz pimentos chopped up (to about the size you find in an olive actually) and some of the pimento liquid
  • soft white sliced bread (or Martin's potato bread is also good)
  • 2 generous tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • dash of hot sauce to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of heavy cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)

 

Steps:

  1. Put shredded cheeses and chopped pimentos (with juices) in a bowl and add the mayonnaise and cream. Mix with a spoon or spatula. It should be pretty creamy and spreadable but not wet. If not, add a bit more mayonnaise and/or cream. 
  2. Add hot sauce (Red Hot is a decent option) to taste - but should not be spicy. If you want you can also add some salt and pepper if it tastes a bit bland (although note salt and pepper are not in actual Masters ingredient list). 
  3. Spread generous amount between two slices of bread.
Chop pimentos up and keep the juices
Chop pimentos up and keep the juices
Put em in bags if you're having a party
Put em in bags if you're having a party
Pimento cheese spread should be almost creamy
Pimento cheese spread should be almost creamy
They are not cut at Augusta but you can at home
They are not cut at Augusta but you can at home

 

That's about as easy as it gets for cooking. The trick is getting the creaminess without being soggy so that goes to your aforementioned sandwich making judgment. Add a bit more mayonnaise and heavy cream as necessary.

 

Of all the pimento sandwiches recipes out there, I didn't see any other recipes with the heavy cream. I tried with and without the heavy cream. One of the reasons for the heavy cream is that it lets you control the creaminess of the cheese spread. This is a place where you have to use your judgment.

 

Also, I wondered whether sitting in the plastic bags at the concession stand actually helped the sandwich (i.e. the moisture made the bred softer?). We tried this by putting some of the sandwiched in bags for a little while (about an hour) but it did not seem to make much of a difference. It did not make the sandwiches soggy or worse in any way. However, they did look kind of cool and could be fun if you are having a party. 

 

Here's a file that you can print and cut into four if you are having a Masters gathering. You can put them in with a sandwich into a plastic sandwich bag and away you go. 

 

masterssandwichinserts.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 402.1 KB

 

THE QUICK & DIRTY

 

If even the simple recipe above seems too daunting, we also tried a quick and dirty version using pre-shredded cheese.

 

Ingredients

  • pre-shredded cheese mix (american and swiss or cheddar) (6 oz) 
  • 2 oz pimentos chopped up (to about the size you find in an olive actually) and some of the pimento liquid
  • soft white sliced bread
  • 2 generous tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • dash of hot sauce to taste
  • salt and pepper (optional)

 

Steps

Probably $10 or less at the supermarket (not including the mayo: hopefully it's in your fridge)
Probably $10 or less at the supermarket (not including the mayo: hopefully it's in your fridge)
Chop pimentos and mix up ingredients -- don't forget to add pimento juices to the cheese mixture
Chop pimentos and mix up ingredients -- don't forget to add pimento juices to the cheese mixture
Spread on Bread: Alas, the Quick & Dirty version looked authentic but did not taste so good.
Spread on Bread: Alas, the Quick & Dirty version looked authentic but did not taste so good.

 

It's not that big of a spoiler to say the Quick and Dirty simply did not taste as good. Even if you added the heavy cream and hot sauce, it would be as good as the Replica version because of the cheese. There is something about the pre-shredded cheese that is just too dry. I don't know what they do to pre-shredded cheese but even when it is warmed up to room temperature, if doesn't really get as soft as it needs to be to make this sandwich satisfying.

 

If possible and with minimal extra effort, I strongly recommend the extra few steps required for the Replica version. It is worth it.

 

We did not stop here.

 

Next, we tried some variations and versions inspired by this classic sandwich. Could it be better? Augusta is not afraid of new technology so neither are we here at the Clubhouse Kitchen. 

 

 

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