Fried Saltines with Pimento Cheese and a Holiday Cocktail
This is the ultimate holiday appetizer and cocktail combo! I love both of these easy and fun recipes that will put you in the holiday mood. They’re perfect to serve to your guests, or keep as a treat for yourself while you cook.
For the cocktail:
1 bottle Prosecco or Cava, chilled
1 cup pomegranate juice, chilled
For the pimento cheese:
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
8 ounces whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ounces diced pimentos in liquid
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper
For the fried saltines:
1 cup grapeseed or olive oil
1 sleeve Saltine crackers
Tony Chachere’s seasoning (you can substitute any seasoning blend of your choice—I also like using steak seasoning!)
To make the cocktail:
1. Cut the pomegranate in half the long way (not through the middle, where the stem is). Wrap 1 half in cheesecloth or plastic wrap and beat with a rolling pin to remove the seeds. Rinse any pulp off the seeds and set them aside.
2. Divide the Prosecco or Cava among Champagne glasses. Top each with a splash of pomegranate juice and garnish with 2–3 pomegranate seeds. Serve and enjoy!
To make the pimento cheese:
1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cheese and cream cheese. Add the pimentos and their liquid, then season with a pinch of cayenne pepper (if using) and black pepper to taste.
2. Mix well and set aside. Let chill in the refrigerator overnight, then taste and adjust seasonings as desired just before serving.
To make the fried saltines:
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over low heat. (You may not need all of the oil—just a shallow layer.) Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Working in batches, carefully add 4–5 crackers to the oil at a time. Fry, watching carefully to prevent burning, until golden, 1–2 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the crackers to the wire rack and immediately sprinkle with the seasoning. Repeat with the remaining crackers.
3. Serve with pimento cheese, and save any extras in a resealable plastic bag. These are perfect to make ahead, as they stay crispy when stored.