Chef Thomas Keller Takes on Augusta's Famous Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Celebrity Chef Thomas Keller has played Augusta National and loves the club's iconic pimento cheese sandwich. But in this cooking video he shows how you can take it up a notch by adding tomato, chicken and heat.
Released on 4/2/2019
The pimento cheese Sandwich at Augusta is wonderful
for a couple of different reasons.
It's on Wonder Bread, so soft
and then they put this wonderful creamy little bit
of spice on that with a little bit of a texture
in some whole pimentos.
And you take a bite of it
and it just kinda sticks to the roof of your mouth.
It's traditional, it's classic,
something that references those moments in your life
of finding excitement, of childhood.
We took inspiration from that.
Today we're gonna make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich
with a grilled chicken breast and sliced garden tomatoes.
We have our two slices of white bread here.
You could use wholewheat bread,
any sliced bread that you like.
We have our pimento cheese here.
So we have, we're gonna spread it on both sides
of our bread.
And you can see those little flecks
of whole pimento in there,
and that gives it that really nice texture.
The little pimentón, which gives a little bit of spice.
It's a pepper from the South of France.
We use that, we like the way it adds a flavor profile
as well as a little bit of heat.
Cheddar cheese, and a little bit of mayonnaise.
We take our grilled chicken breast.
It doesn't have to be grilled,
if you have just a chicken breast you buy at the deli,
that's fine, it doesn't have to be something
that you do yourself.
Just make it simple.
I'm just gonna slice this relatively thin.
Then start to layer it on my,
one side of my sandwich.
A little salt.
We have our vine ripe tomato here.
And a really sharp knife, as you can see.
And you can slice the tomato
as thick or as thin as you like.
And there we have the beginnings
of our grilled cheese pimento sandwich.
Some butter, let that cook there on top of the stove
for a few minutes
while it starts to toast the bottom piece
and then we're gonna flip it over
and then we're gonna put it in the oven for a few moments.
Now my oven's about 300 degrees.
Actually, my first round of golf
was with one of my older brothers.
I don't really remember if I enjoyed it or not,
I certainly enjoyed being with my brother.
But it was years later, after I opened The French Laundry
where Eric Ziebold and I would go out in the morning
and that was an opportunity for us to talk,
you know, have conversations about the restaurant,
about life, and just kinda chase a little white ball around
the green grass.
You can see how beautiful that is.
Feels just like a grilled cheese sandwich there.
Gets a little messy, of course,
because we have that melted pimento cheese.
And because there's mayonnaise in the pimento cheese,
it gets a little more runny than a normal cheese would get
but that's part of the beauty of pimento cheese.
You can start to hear the sizzle.
When you're making a grilled cheese sandwich,
the way that crust feels
is very unique to a grilled cheese sandwich.
It becomes a little compressed.
And you can just start to look underneath,
see how it's doing
and be patient, that's what they always tell amateur chefs
is, you know, be patient,
you don't always have to be playing with your food.
Sometimes just letting it alone and letting it cook
is a good thing.
My first time at Augusta was doing a sponsorship dinner.
Several years later to have the opportunity
to be invited there to play.
Your heart just starts to race,
you know some of the mistakes that have been made
by some of the greatest golfers in the world.
You've seen the champions, you've seen the defeats,
so all that emotion's kinda swelling up in you as well
even though you're like a,
really an amateur.
But you're kinda feeling that this is an opportunity
for you to be part of history.
Now, just, when you're using a serrated knife,
this is something that's very interesting to us,
I'll just give you a little tip here.
It's like a saw,
so you always wanna be moving back and forth with it.
Serrated knife is not meant to put pressure on,
a serrated knife is meant to cut things that are delicate,
things that compress like the sandwich or a baguette,
things like that.
So we always wanna just let the knife do the work
by letting it slice soft through my sandwich.
Look at that, see how the pimento cheese
just melted on there.
We have a beautiful coleslaw here
which is dressed with mayonnaise
so it's just traditional.
There we have our grilled cheese pimento,
chicken breast, and tomato sandwich.
Have a great time at the Masters.
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