This sandwich has a soundtrack. I was styling the shot (oh my gosh, if you’re not a food blogger, can I just tell you how much actually goes into photo styling? Q-tips, tweezers, the need for 3 hands, etc.) Sorry, rant over.
Anyway, an old Fruit Bats song was playing on my Pandora station, and I found myself singing the words lovingly to this sandwich.
When you love somebody it’s hard to think about anything but to breathe.
When I’m eating this sandwich, it’s hard to think about anything but to breathe.
If I could miraculously quit breathing so I could fit more bites in my mouth, I would. So dang good.
I had a replica of this sandwich in Birmingham, Alabama at Saw’s BBQ, and it’s been on my mind ever since. It was one of those sandwiches that takes your breath away. (see what I did there?)
I’m not going to tell you that my pimento cheese recipe is better than your Momma’s. Except that it is. It’s because I use Kerrygold aged cheddar blended with sharp cheddar. A squeeze of Duke’s mayo (the only self-respecting mayonnaise in the world! Trust.), plus one of those tiny jars of pimientos makes this pimento cheese better than your Momma’s. Sorry.
Also, I present to you the pinnacle of fried foods: CORNMEAL FRIED PICKLES.
If crispy, salty juicy pickles aren’t your thing, leave ’em off. This hot pimento cheese is good enough to stand on its own.
When this sandwich hits the hot pan, OH BABY.
If you’d like to listen to the Fruit Bats song while chowing down (which I highly recommend dedicating a love song to your sandwich while eating), here’s a link.
For the fried pickles:
- 12 dill pickle slices
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups neutral oil (I use canola)
For the pimiento cheese:
- 1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons diced jarred pimientos
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh onion
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 slices thick bread
- 1 tablespoon Kerrygold butter, for grilling
- First, fry the pickles: heat the oil in a small but deep pot or a skillet. Clamp a thermometer to the pan, and let the oil heat to 375.
- Meanwhile, dry off the pickles very well with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, and black pepper. In another small bowl, add the buttermilk.
- When the oil has reached 375, bread the pickles by dipping them in the buttermilk, then the cornmeal mixture. Fry 4 at a time, removing them from the oil when the are golden brown and crispy, about 90 seconds.
- Let the fried pickles drain on a paper towel.
- Make the pimiento cheese: combine all ingredients (except the bread and butter) and stir well.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to fit all of the bread slices. Toast the bread on one side, flip, and divide the pimiento cheese mixture between two slices. Stack the extra bread slices on top of the pimiento cheese, and flip and grill until both sides are golden brown.
- Serve pimiento grilled cheese stacked high with fried pickles.