You really can’t make a jen-u-wine Texas Queso dip without Velveeta. Cube the “cheese food,” put in a bowl with a can of Ro-tel, and nuke it until melted. Stir and chomp with chips. Just the thing while watching the Aggies.
A friend wanted queso the other night but said she was going to make it with cheddar. I couldn’t permit that atrocity, so we stopped at the store, picked up the block of Velveeta and the can of RoTel. She said, “is that all you need?”
Yup. That and a crock pot to keep it warm.
Don’t listen to the naysayers. This was some awesome mac and cheese. Even better reheated (just add a little milk and nuke for a couple of minutes, stir, add a little butter on top and nuke for a couple more) and add salt and pepper.
I do a queso dip variant with a can of Hormel chili instead of the Ro-Tel tomatoes. It’s a great chili-con-queso dip that everyone loves when we have parties. When I want chili, I make my own chili, and normally canned chili would be unthinkable. But like Velveeta instead of “real” cheese, only canned chili (preferably Hormel) works in the dip. (And it’s not bad on hot dogs with onions, mustard, and creamy cole slaw either, but that’s for another thread, I’m sure.)
[slingblade] I was thinkin’ I could use me another couple cans’o that potted meat if ya got any extree. [/slingblade]
When I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp in the early 1980s, we got USDA surplus American cheese for serving to the campers. It came in these big blocks, about as big as one of the larger Kleenex ™ boxes. Tasted just the same as the individually-wrapped slices, IIRC.
Then what good was it?
I don’t know why, but I just about damn near fell outa my chair at “Ro-tel” and the accent that immediatly popped up in my head.
Oh, and also: WHOOP!
Runs With Scissors: Help! Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but I can’t find my NYT recipe for mac and cheese. Did you happen to write it down? Thanks. Der Cheffie
Well, now that it’s been un-zombified…
Although I won’t argue its usefulness in certain dishes, by definition all American Cheese is processed cheese.
Although I was always under the impression that all processed cheese - and therefore all American cheese - contained considerable trans-fats, in searching for a cite I couldn’t find one. For instance, Velveeta , Land O Lakes Process American Cheese slices, and Kraft American Slices all contain 0% Trans Fats, and no hydrogenated oils. Whether this has always been the case or has recently changed due to deserved crack-downs on trans fats I have no idea, but it can only be a good thing. Although I much prefer using natural ingredients to processed ones, I might feel less guilty about ording a tuna melt in the diner from now on.
Ignorance fighting continues apace…
This is what Steve has to say about potted meat. He was also kind enough to let me quote from that passage for my sig.
Hey, LiveOnAPlane, do you know what Vienna sausages are? Potted meat with a hard on! (My dad and brother call them “puppy peters.”) Of course, I may have to surrender my Southern membership when I state that I do NOT pronounce the word “Vienna” to rhyme with “hyena.” It rhymes with “sienna,” thankyouverymuch.
And I am glad to see it stated clearly that you use RO-TEL TOMATOES, not SALSA, to make chili con queso! Now I wish I had some!
And here’s the damn sig that I forgot to include!
Aw, man, I soooooo am cravin’ some queso right now my mouth is literally watering. But I have to make weight and lose 4 pounds by August. That’s going on the “list”…
My semi-annual primer on American cheese (my grandpa was a cheesemaker):
By definition, all American cheese is processed cheese. There are three main types, in descending order of quality:
American cheese. Made only of cheese and emulsifying salts (maybe dye, too). This is what McDonald’s uses on their sandwiches, and what you get when you buy “Kraft Deluxe” slices.
American cheese food. As little as 51% cheese. What you get when you buy “Kraft Singles.” The rest is mostly water, skim milk, whey, and emulsifying salts.
American cheese product. 50% or less cheese. The rest is mostly water, skim milk, whey, and emulsifying salts. What you get when you buy “Kraft Velveeta.”
Is there an echo in here?
Seriously, though, thanks for the breakdown. I don’t know why I find the topic so fascinating at the moment, but I appreciated the information.
You do have to surrender your Southern card - it’s “Vie-ENNA”, with a long vowel in the first syllable and rhymes with henna.
I used to love them things when I was a kid - that was the treat at the end of the long horrible fishing trip with Dad. You’d eat them with club crackers, only your lake-water-wet hands would get the cracker kind of mushy. I have the most specific tactile memory of all of it.
Getting that first one out is the hardest part, eh?
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched fishing programs on TV, but DH watches Bill Dance. We saw an episode of bloopers that showed him draining a can of Viennas over the side of his boat. As you noted, getting that first one out is usually so difficult, but as soon as he upended the can to pour out the “juice,” every sausage went plopping into the river. You can bet he was NOT happy!
What I was saying before was that people I know pronounce the word to rhyme with HYENA (not henna)–this gives me the shudders. I’d hate to see them book a trip to Austria–“I just can’t wait to visit Vie-eena!” I suppose I could stand it better if they did rhyme it with henna, though!
Fish love vienna sausages actually. We’ve taken them along on dive trips to feed the fishes. The chicken vienna sausages weren’t such a hit, but the fish went nuts over the bbq flavor. Weird as hell, but it was nice to get a swarm of fish around us.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
No, see, it’s not veeENNA, it rhymes with, er, die-henna. How do your people say it, like die-Geena? 'Cause that’s kinda weird.
Also, it doesn’t matter, because when you get to Europe it’s not any of those things, it’s “Wein”. You really want to see a confused Southern family, tell them to get to Vienna when there’s no Vienna on the map!