In the South, you never hear anyone say, "That pimento cheese was just okay." The truth is, any combination of cheese and mayo is going to be at least pretty good. Like any proper Memphian, I think my version of this omnipresent cheese spread is the best. It is bright and herby due to the addition of lemon zest, thyme, and soft goat cheese. There are a million ways to eat it, but the following recipe just may be the best.
The grilled pimento cheese sandwich has become a modern Southern classic. You will find it on almost every lunch menu in Memphis. Many times you will see this sandwich served like a grilled cheese, but in my humble opinion, the warm pimento cheese has a tendency to get too soft and squishy. In this version, I grill the buttered bread on a cast-iron grill pan before I spread on the pimento cheese to preserve the consistency of the cheese. I've also omitted the bacon you usually find on this sandwich; however the rich, smoky beer bread more than makes up for it. This dish has it all; smoky grilled bread, creamy pimento cheese, and crisp toppings.
Grilled Beer Bread Pimento Cheese Sandwiches + Arugula & Tomato
Special equipment: cast-iron grill pan
Whole Wheat Beer Bread (made with Tumbler Ale)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Lemon Zest + Thyme Pimento Cheese (can sub in white cheddar!)
2 medium tomatoes (sliced)
2 cups fresh arugula
salt and pepper to taste
Slice beer bread into 1/2-inch slices and brush one side of each slice with melted butter. Heat the cast-iron grill pan over medium high heat until it begins to smoke. Grill each slice for about a minute and a half or until well-marked by the grill pan, then give each slice 1/4 turn and grill another minute if you want those cross-hatched grill marks. Repeat until all slices are grilled.
Spread two spoonfuls of pimento cheese on a slice of the grilled bread, top with tomato, salt and pepper to taste, a little arugula, and then crown it with another slice of grilled beer bread.