In recent years there have been many references to “glamping” which for me, good or bad, conjures a specific image. Picture a wealthy couple rolling into a beautifully decorated canvas tent with a private cook on hand ready to attend to their every need for their weekend “roughing it” getaway. When I camp, I prefer to use the term “gourping” which is a word that encompasses the gourmet side of camping. I like to rough it, but I don’t like to eat freeze dried food or Oscar Mayer hot dogs.
Today we leave for a weeklong adventure that will involve gourping with a side of glamping at the Coachella Music Festival outside of Palm Springs, followed by a night or two at Joshua Tree National Park.
There are many great options for quality on-the-road food, and I have a host of favorites in rotation for camping trips. I plan to share a number of my gourping favorites with you this summer when camping season gets into full gear. Until then, here is one of my favorites that’s easily portable for a hike, camp, picnic or beach trip.
I first tasted pimiento cheese during a trip to the Outer Banks in 2009. This cheesy delight is versatile. Consume it with crackers, bread, as a sandwich or as a veggie dip. Since my first encounter with pimiento cheese five years ago, I’ve noticed its increase in popularity outside of the southern US. I’ve seen it appear on a number of Bay Area menus and even as a bar snack. I have adapted this recipe from two versions I like, one of which is from a restaurant outside of Charleston, South Carolina.
My kitchen notes:
If you want to reduce fat, use light mayo. Surprisingly, the overall taste isn’t compromised with the reduced fat version.
For a different texture and flavor, I sometimes add tablespoon or two of toasted, chopped pecans.
My favorite way to consume pimiento cheese is between two slices of seedy bread with bacon, lettuce and tomato. It’s a PBLT sandwich!
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 ounce jar of pimiento peppers, drained
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Mix first four ingredients in medium bowl. Mix well so all ingredients are incorporated.
2. Add last two ingredients and mix.
3. Cover and chill until cold.
4. Serve as a dip with veggies, crackers or my favorite way as a PBLT sandwich.