Mini Bacon, Ranch + Pimento Cheese Sandwiches are the best little bite of Southern fare for your next party!
So check it. I’ve been wanting to try pimento cheese for a good year now. I first saw is on my friend Paula’s site and ever since I’ve had this nagging, “When are you going to try it? Do it already!” voice in my head. Well kids, today is the day!
Now for those unfamiliar with pimento cheese (which was totally me about a year ago), here’s the skinny.
Pimento cheese is a common food preparation in the Southern United States, a spread or relish made with cheese. It is affectionately known as “The caviar of the South.”
Yes. Pimentos are those red things inside green olives. Now I don’t eat olives, ever, and the idea of eating pimentos seemed really weird by association. But since I realized that pimentos are basically like eating a bell pepper the game changed.
And let me tell you, this cheese is AWESOME! While it’s kicked a bit with some bacon and ranch seasoning, this cheese spread is everything I wanted it to be! It makes the best little party sandwiches. Which basically means if you’re at my house for football anytime soon, expect to be eating some pimento cheese sandwiches.
You totally want to eat them, right?! These delicious little bits of awesomeness came from my amazing friend Tanya’s new cookbook Sandwiched! Tanya writes the “oh my god I need that now!” food site Lemons for Lulu. If you’re not reading her, you are missing out kids! But this book. Basically everything it in makes me drool and wish I had like two bites of everything. Right. Now. Tanya has all kinds of sandwich recipes in her book that you can serve year round. Here’s a little sneaky peak to amuse your bouche!
You’re totally hungry now, huh? This is just the tip of the iceberg kids. I think of my favorite things about this cookbook is that every recipe is 2 pages with a big pretty picture of the finished recipe. I’m super visual when I cook, and while I don’t need a casserole picture to understand the recipe it’s nice to have a reference point. And believe me, when I made the filling for this sandwich and it wasn’t orange like Tanya’s I ran to Facebook to ask her input. I’m neurotic like that, but because everything tasted awesome I moved forward with making the sandwiches. (There’s also a little note in the recipe below about getting that orange look.)
When I made the pimento cheese and all the sandwiches, it was SO not game day. It was me and the littles. After having 3 of these sandwiches during the prep and photo shoot (it was lunch time, what?!) I popped them in a big tupperware and put them in the fridge. I left them in all night and then next day they were good to go, all be it a little cold. And that means….YES! Make the whol batch a head of time and set them out to come up to room temperature for your party. I love make a head bites.
Better yet, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place your cold sandwiches on a Sil-Pat lined baking sheet and warm them up for 6 to 8 minutes. The bread gets slightly toasty, but the cheese gets all ooey, gooey and amazing. UGH! It was heaven! Yeah. I completely recommend serving them warm. Cause damn!
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- One 4 ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix (homemade or store-bought)
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and finely chopped
- 1 mini (cocktail) loaf of pumpernickel bread
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, and bacon until thoroughly combined.
- Lay out 22 pieces of pumpernickel bread on a flat surface. Scoop about 1 level tablespoon of pimento cheese onto each piece of bread. use a knife, or the back of a spoon to spread the cheese around to the edges of the bread.
- Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread, and serve!
I totally freaked out that my filling didn't turn orange like every pimento cheese picture I'd seen (even the one in Tanya's book!) But this stuff tastes awesome! You could substitute in orange cheddar for white cheddar and/or combine everything in the food processor for more of that orange coloring, but if it ain't broke don't fix it!