People have been eating bread and cheese since way before the word “sandwich” started being used for it, so the cheese sandwich is a real classic. Sometimes, however, you want something more than a simple classic taste in your lunch — let’s face it, even the classics can get boring with repetition. So it’s natural to look around for something that might add a little more taste and texture to your sandwich. Red peppers are one ingredient that have traditionally been paired with cheese, as in pimento cheese.
Growing up in the North, I was only aware of pimento cheese as intriguing looking stuff in tiny jars at the supermarket. We never bought any; pimentos were too spicy for our family’s tastes. Sometimes they still are. I understand things are different in the South, where homemade pimento cheese is popular.
This recipe is either a quicker, less spicy version of a pimento cheese sandwich, or a slightly more complicated, spicier version of a plain cheese sandwich. Whichever way you look at it, here’s how to make it.
- 1 teaspoon minced sweet red pepper
- Cream cheese
- About 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 slices bread
- Spread the cream cheese on both slices of bread and sprinkle one of them with the shredded Cheddar and minced pepper, then put the sandwich together.
- You could spice things up more by using flavored cream cheese, but I’d go for one of the subtle flavors, maybe garden herbs.
- Dill would clash with the pepper and cheese flavors, as would salmon.
- You could also experiment with putting in sliced olives, adding slices of tomato, or even — what a thought — actually using pimento or another hot pepper.
- A milder cheese would work also.
- Like lots of crunchy ingredients added to moist sandwich fillings, the pepper bits will not stay crunchy indefinitely, so it’s better to make this fresh no more than a few hours before you plan to eat it.
- By the way, it’s usually much cheaper to grate your own cheese than to buy it pre-shredded. It also takes only a few seconds, and your only extra work is to wash the grater.
- The one thing to be aware of is that you can’t do this too far in advance either.
- Commercial shreds of cheese may keep their texture for days if you just remember to close the bag; home grated cheese dries out after a day or so, even in the fridge.