Don't use the pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. It contains anti-caking agents that prevent clumping together and it will not result in the correct texture.
A food processor will make quick work of the grating but requires more clean up than a simple box grater.
Mixing with a fork helps retain the texture of the shredded cheese.
Serve the pimiento cheese immediately or store it in the refrigerator. After being chilled, you may find that it has solidified a bit and needs an additional tablespoon or so of mayonnaise stirred in to bring it back to the correct consistency.
Make a sandwich by spreading a generous amount between two slices of soft white sandwich bread, good sourdough, some fantastic whole wheat, or my favorite marbled rye. Or serve it at your next party as a spread with crackers, or stuffed into celery sticks.
For a cheesier flavor, substitute half the sharp cheddar with extra-sharp
For a spicy version, add one-fourth to one-half teaspoon cayenne pepper
Some people enjoy a little grated onion or a ¼ teaspoon garlic powder mixed in
If you want a lighter version, substitute low-fat alternatives for the cheese and mayonnaise
StorageStore your pimiento cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will last for at least a week. It will not freeze, however, so enjoy it while it's fresh.