Updating our favorite retro spread
We test and taste every recipe we publish. While we collaborate with a lot of talented chefs, we adapt and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. (It smells really good in here). Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, get cooking with confidence.
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At Atlanta's new Empire State South, chef Hugh Acheson is recasting regional Southern dishes such as Frogmore Stew and chicken-fried pork steak with a modern eye. The chef even refreshes pimento cheese--that classic, creamy spread--by using just-roasted red peppers, homemade mayonnaise and smoked paprika. At the restaurant, he serves this "Southern pâté" as an appetizer and on grilled cheese sandwiches that boast a perfect combination of molten filling and crunchy crust. Acheson admits he can't go a week without eating one of these oozing indulgences. Make this once, and you won't be able to either.
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Yield: 4 sandwiches
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 loosely packed cups)
1 red bell pepper--roasted, peeled, seeded (or jarred) and finely diced
¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade or Duke's brand)
¾ teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 slices soft white bread
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, divided
4 pickled okra spears, for garnish (optional)