feasting with friends

Michigan Monday: Pimento Cheese & Pinwheels

You’re probably thinking, “Pimento Cheese is NOT a Michigan thing”. And you’re right….sort of…

I’m well aware Pimento Cheese is a true Southern thing! But…yes, there is a “but”… the adapted recipe I’m featuring today (1) comes from a Michigan restaurant…Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan and (2) I’m using Pinconning Super Sharp Cheese…a Made in Michigan product.

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See… it’s a Michigan post through and through … A double Michigan Monday post {wink, wink}.

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Even though I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life, I didn’t discover Zingerman’s until our daughter, Mandy, was a student at the University of Michigan in the mid 2000’s. And what a discovery it was! Their businesses include Zingerman’s Roadhouse, the Creamery, the Delicatessen (with attached store), the Bakehouse and their mail order division. The store (attached to the deli) is a.m.a.z.i.n.g! If you’re a “foodie”, be prepared to be wowed! The products available in the “pantry staples” is abundant. So many good things… breads, oils, vinegars, condiments… salts, peppers, jams, honeys, grains and more! So many staples from so many different countries…it’s breathtaking!

Don’t live in Michigan? No problem. Just check out their mail order catalog. You can thank me when you receive your first order!

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Pinconning Cheese, on the other hand, I grew up on. When I was young, my family had a cottage in Northern Michigan. The drive to and from the cottage took us through Pinconning. Many of the trips involved a stop at the Cheese Store. Back then, there was a restaurant attached and we would eat there if we hadn’t already stopped at one of our other favorite “detours”… Frankenmuth, anyone?

Nowadays, I don’t get that far north much. Thankfully, the fabulous cheeses from Pinconning can be found in our local stores… even big-box Meijer’s has a few varieties available, including the super sharp cheddar used here.

Once I made the pimento cheese, I discovered I needed to do something with the cheese. I mean, sure, it’s good on crackers… and was fabulous on a grilled burger, but there had to be “more”. A quick Google search offered me Pimento Cheese Mac n’ Cheese, Squash & Pimento Cheese Gratin, Pimento Cheese Biscuits, Pimento Cheese…. You name it, it’s there!  I was 100% intrigued by Pimento Cheese Pinwheels…

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… Puff pastry, pimento cheese, prosciutto and parmesan cheese all rolled and sliced in to little pinwheels. (Anyone else notice all the “P’s” in that description?? Lol)

These pinwheels are the perfect appetizer! They can actually be made ahead of time (freeze before slicing) and ready for the next feast with friends.

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If you don’t want to make homemade pimento cheese but still want to try the pinwheels, no worries…just purchase pre-made pimento cheese and go from there! Both recipes follow…Enjoy!

Pimento Cheese

  • Servings: 1 pint
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound Pinconning super sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup roasted red peppers, small dice
½  teaspoon juice from the roasted peppers (if you’re using jarred roasted peppers)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Pinch coarse sea salt

DIRECTIONS:
Fold all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Mix well. That’s all, folks!

Cheese recipe adapted from, here.

Pimento Cheese Pinwheels

  • Servings: 32 pinwheels
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:
1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 cup Basic Pimento Cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 pound sliced prosciutto
Optional: Caramelized onions for topping

DIRECTIONS:
On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets (2). Using a rolling pin, gently roll seams out of the pastry.

Spread pastry sheets with pimento cheese, top with prosciutto and finish by sprinkling with grated parmesan.

Starting at a long side, roll each pastry sheet like a jellyroll. Wrap the pastry roll with waxed paper and place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 1 hour. (Or freeze rolls for future use.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Prepare sheet pans with nonstick spray or parchment paper.

Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each pastry roll into 1/4-inch thick discs. Place discs on prepared sheet pan. Top each with about ½ teaspoon of caramelized onions, if using.

Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 32 pinwheels.

Pinwheel recipe adapted from, here.

30 comments

  1. The pimento cheese and the pinwheels look so good to me, Nancy! Believe it or not, I have never eaten pimento cheese. It is not something I have run across in Arizona. It looks like I have been missing out! The pinwheels look like they would have so much flavor with all those ingredients. Thanks so much for sharing the recipes!

    • I hadn’t had pimento cheese in years. It was after my daughter took a trip to Charleston, SC and could not stop talking about pimento cheese, that I decided it was time to reintroduce myself to this delight! The pinwheels are a great way to serve the cheese and they are ridiculously easy to make. Thanks for visiting, Shari. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  2. Girl! You are from Michigan too??? I lived in MI for 17 years!!! I loved reading this! I know all about Ann Arbor, UofM and all that glory. Have you been to Cherry Republic?? We now live in the south (Arkansas for the past two years.) and I miss the north so much some days. There is a lot more creamy southern food which has been fun. (not a sweet tea person though…) Anyways, this is a post in itself, sorry to clog the blog!! 🙂 Have a blessed day!

    • Another Michigander? Yay! I’ve never been to Cherry Republic, though my kids have. I’m always happy to hear that a post can help memories for a reader. Nice to see you, Kloe!

  3. These pinwheels look just wonderful Nancy. I love using the puff pastry sheets too, so versatile aren’t they? Loving the ingredients, these would be excellent at a cocktail party.

  4. I make my MIL’s recipe all the time, especially for family gatherings. Very similar recipe but she always added a pinch or two of sugar. I like the cayenne in it! What a great idea to make pinwheels – I must have eight recipes for pinwheels but not like this. Thanks for sharing Nancy… 🙂

    • If it’s a recipe you’ve made for years, it must be delicious! I did like the bit of heat the cayenne provided here. The pinwheels were great and I love any appetizer that I can tuck away in the freezer for unexpected guests. Thanks, Judi!

  5. skd

    Very interesting post Nancy!Thank you for sharing the pinwheels recipe. I have a puffpastry sheet staring at me every time I open the freezer and was wondering what to make. I don’t eat prosciutto so I am thinking of substituting it with chicken. The pinwheels look scrumptious and a must try. Have a wonderful week ahead ☺

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