This past weekend at our holiday party, I made three combos of tea sandwiches, which I sliced into little quarters. Thank the lord I ran out of bread on Friday night before I ran out of pimento cheese! I had a little of the cheese mixture left over in a bowl, which I hid in the back of the fridge.
The recipe comes from my friend and colleague Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit‘s restaurant editor. He was curious to know how this Southern classic would play in Los Angeles, and play well it did. In fact, I’ve never had so many people bug me for a recipe. I cannot imagine the deluge had I served the sandwiches grilled as I did for my husband and I yesterday afternoon. The secret, in my book, to a perfect grilled cheese is to butter the outside of the slice of bread and not the pan.
Slather a generous amount of pimento cheese between two slices, and then place in a grill pan over medium-low heat to ensure even melting on the inside, crispy toasty goodness on the outside.
Because I cannot for the life of me find my panini lid, I made a makeshift panini press by placing a heavy tarte tartin pan on top of the sandwiches to press them down for a crispy crust.
It worked. It worked well. Really well.