Pimento Cheese Adds A Southern Flare To Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller sounds quite fancy, especially when you consider the seafood dish was coined after John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world at the time. It all started at a restaurant down in New Orleans, Louisiana, but today you can find the dish at seafood eateries and other restaurants across the country. At its core, a classic recipe includes oysters on the half shell topped with breadcrumbs mixed with onions, celery, and herbs, then baked — but you can lean into its Southern origins and combine it with pimento cheese.

Pimento cheese is a staple dip in Southern cuisine, so it's sort of a no-brainer to combine it with Oysters Rockefeller. Pimento cheese will add a cheesy touch, of course, but its other ingredients like pimento peppers and spoonfuls of mayonnaise also add in some subtle spiciness and creaminess. You'll still want toasted breadcrumbs like the traditional version of the dish for a nice buttery crunch, and some vegetables like celery won't hurt either to contrast with the richness of pimento cheese.

Use store-bought or homemade pimento cheese

To try this upgrade, start with a ritzy Oysters Rockefeller recipe. Prepare your breadcrumbs according to instructions, then it's time for the pimento cheese to come into play.

You have two options when it comes to pimento cheese. The first option is to buy pre-made pimento cheese at the grocery store. There are many store-bought versions of the dip at most large grocery stores, and many of them are flavorful. Or to elevate your Oysters Rockefeller even more, make your own classic pimento cheese recipe — because nothing beats homemade. Then you can also add in some hot sauce to increase the heat or use a little extra mayo if you want a creamier version of the dip. Bacon is also a good idea to stir into the pimento cheese (or breadcrumb mixture) to add meaty umami to pair with the briny oysters.

The rest is rather easy because you'll prep the oysters, add a spoonful of the pimento cheese, top with those breadcrumbs, and then bake according to your chosen recipe. These Oysters Rockefeller with a southern flare will certainly impress your guests. And before you start, consider these common mistakes everyone makes with oysters so you don't ruin the dish before you even add the flavorful cheese.