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guilty pleasures: Velveeta and Cheez Whiz

guilty pleasures: Velveeta and Cheez Whiz
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  • guilty pleasures: Velveeta and Cheez Whiz

    Post #1 - March 25th, 2006, 11:57 am
    Post #1 - March 25th, 2006, 11:57 am Post #1 - March 25th, 2006, 11:57 am
    Processed American Cheese Food


    They're staples in my pantry. The Velveeta, melted with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, is the benchmark for Tex-Mex-style chile con queso. The Cheez Whiz goes into a hominy casserole (along with cans of condensed cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup :lol: , shredded cheddar, and crushed Frito topping). The palatability, I know, is open to debate, but I grew up on this stuff and still have a taste for it.

    The first thing I learned to cook (in elementary school) was scrambled eggs and Velveeta.

    Plus: I love the names, and how they roll off the tongue. Ah . . . the golden days of creative food-product naming.

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #2 - March 25th, 2006, 11:59 am
    Post #2 - March 25th, 2006, 11:59 am Post #2 - March 25th, 2006, 11:59 am
    Yep. That's the only decent(damn good) use of Velveeta...otherwise...ew.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #3 - March 25th, 2006, 12:22 pm
    Post #3 - March 25th, 2006, 12:22 pm Post #3 - March 25th, 2006, 12:22 pm
    They're staples in my pantry.


    Mine too. I use the Hot Mexican in the usual way. But there's also another use: Velveeta is the universal solvent. Use about 10-15% along with cheddar in mac and cheese. The Velveeta makes the cheddar melt smoothly.

    My first toasted-cheese sandwiches from Mom were Velveeta. Can't do that anymore; vestige of lost youth, eh?

    Gel
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #4 - March 25th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    Post #4 - March 25th, 2006, 1:54 pm Post #4 - March 25th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    Unfortunately, the Wiz is no more. Food products called wiz just don't sound, well, sanitary.

    The aerosol can variety is now called Eazy-Cheese or some such nonsense. I think the big cans used for Philly Cheesesteaks etc. commercially may still be called Wiz
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #5 - March 25th, 2006, 2:04 pm
    Post #5 - March 25th, 2006, 2:04 pm Post #5 - March 25th, 2006, 2:04 pm
    Actually, the stuff in the aerosol has always been "Easy Cheese," and Cheez Whiz is and always has been the stuff in a jar. Now in designer flavors! I once sat behind two Kraft food designers on a Metra train and eavesdropped on their lengthy discussion of how they worked out a particular "kink" in a cheese spread product. Specifically, in testing it, they found that the saliva that kept getting put back into the jars by the users made the stuff toughen up and become unusable (I'll let you use your imagination on that one). Rather than drop the product in the name of all that is holy, they instead came up with some kind of miracle additive to prevent saliva-induced coagulation of the product. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it.
    JiLS
  • Post #6 - March 25th, 2006, 4:05 pm
    Post #6 - March 25th, 2006, 4:05 pm Post #6 - March 25th, 2006, 4:05 pm
    JILS, that's a *wonderful* ( = "awful") story. Saliva's got enzymes (? amylase?) that are extremely rapid starch breaker-downers. So I guess that when you lick that spoon real good and repeatedly as you spoon the goop out, there'll be enough blowback to start unravelling the longer starch chains...

    Truly 'better living through chemistry'. :^ )

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #7 - March 25th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Post #7 - March 25th, 2006, 7:36 pm Post #7 - March 25th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Geo wrote:...when you lick that spoon real good and repeatedly as you spoon the goop out, there'll be enough blowback to start unravelling the longer starch chains...


    Just to clarify, these folks were actually referring to users licking their fingers and dipping them back into the jar, but I suppose the principle is the same. It is apparent that Kraft has no romantic illusions about its customers and their proclivities. That kind of pragmatism is bracing and strangely reassuring.
    JiLS
  • Post #8 - March 25th, 2006, 8:30 pm
    Post #8 - March 25th, 2006, 8:30 pm Post #8 - March 25th, 2006, 8:30 pm
    waderoberts wrote:The Cheez Whiz goes into a hominy casserole (along with cans of condensed cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup :lol: , shredded cheddar, and crushed Frito topping).

    Would you share this recipe? I maintain a collection of what I think of as anti-food snob recipes. One of the first party dishes I ever made was a Cheez-Whiz fondue. It was always one of the first things to be gobbled up.
  • Post #9 - March 26th, 2006, 12:49 pm
    Post #9 - March 26th, 2006, 12:49 pm Post #9 - March 26th, 2006, 12:49 pm
    Isn't Velveeta the only requirement in 5-can casserole?
  • Post #10 - March 26th, 2006, 7:10 pm
    Post #10 - March 26th, 2006, 7:10 pm Post #10 - March 26th, 2006, 7:10 pm
    _____Guilty pleasures? Seriously, these are just great eats with unknown preservative-laden consequences! Based off the original posting, I went into the pantry and found the following:
     Velveeta
     Cheap-whatevername-salsa
     Fake Potatoes
     Fruit Loops
     Buffalo Wild Wings sauces

    I had to add the following to my list that I didn’t find:
     Chez Wiz
     Hormel Chili (NO beans)
     Sharp Cheddar Easy Cheese
     Twinkies*

    *Seriously, ever tried ‘em deep fried?
  • Post #11 - March 27th, 2006, 9:46 am
    Post #11 - March 27th, 2006, 9:46 am Post #11 - March 27th, 2006, 9:46 am
    waderoberts wrote:
    Processed American Cheese Food


    They're staples in my pantry. The Velveeta, melted with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, is the benchmark for Tex-Mex-style chile con queso.


    Unknown to many Velveeta or a similar product offered commercially by Land O'Lakes is the base for almost every Tex-Mex restaurant. I was able to obtain the recipe for Chile con queso from the Tex-mex sister of one of my former employers. Of course the recipe started with a 50 lb block of 'processed cheese food', but I've been able to scale down the recipe. People often ask why I would even consider keeping Velveeta in the pantry. I often reply by asking how they liked the queso they are currently devouring. If anyone cares here's my scaled down recipe.

    2 12oz bricks of Velveeta
    1 Onion chopped
    2 jalepenos minced
    2 roma tomatoes seeded and chopped
    1/3 - 1/2 cup Milk

    Put the milk onions and jalepenos in a saucepan over low heat while you cube the Velveeta. Add Velveeta and stir frequently until hot and smooth. Stir in tomatoes and serve.

    Flip

    If anyone wants to know which restaurant's recipe this is derived from just PM me. The exact proportions have been modified to my tastes, but I can produce the original recipe within a day or two.
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #12 - March 27th, 2006, 10:55 am
    Post #12 - March 27th, 2006, 10:55 am Post #12 - March 27th, 2006, 10:55 am
    LAZ wrote:
    Would you share this recipe?


    Alas, I long ago lost the detailed recipe, but it's damned easy to reproduce:

    Canned hominy
    can(s) condensed cream of celery soup
    can(s) condensed cream of mushroom soup
    Cheez Whiz
    crushed Fritos

    After several preparations, I ended up just eye-balling the proportions to my sight/taste (I had already been adjusting them). I think I've been using about three large cans of hominy, two cans each of the soups, and two jars of the Whiz.

    Drain and empty hominy. Stir in soups straight from can. Fold in Whiz (easier if you microwave it to soften up a bit) (I love using terms like "fold in" in recipes such as this one). Top with finely crushed Fritos. Bake in casserole dish at 350 degrees about 30 minutes (until you see bubbling and browning at the corners. Serve.

    In a displaced-Texan equivalent to grape-stomping for wine, I usually pour the Fritos into a freezer bag and crush them by foot. The Frito-foot-stomping highly impresses particularly refined guests!

    It is admittedly full of sodium and preservatives and such, but highly picky health-obsessed acquaintances have raved about this dish.

    Enjoy!

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #13 - March 27th, 2006, 11:14 am
    Post #13 - March 27th, 2006, 11:14 am Post #13 - March 27th, 2006, 11:14 am
    Jewel's rice pudding, right out of the tub. This is especially guilt-inducing for me because I actually make a really good rice pudding, and even created my own recipe (drawing from both of my grandmothers' recipes) for a cookbook that was put out a few years ago.

    And I'm so all over canned cream of mushroom soup. I actually eat it as soup, along with a grilled cheese sometimes for dipping. So far, I haven't met anyone who will eat it with me.

    Someone told me once that Velveeta is clear before they add the food coloring. I have no way to prove this, but I've always believed it.
  • Post #14 - March 27th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    Post #14 - March 27th, 2006, 1:12 pm Post #14 - March 27th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    girlmoxie wrote:
    Someone told me once that Velveeta is clear before they add the food coloring. I have no way to prove this, but I've always believed it.


    Cheddar gets its yellow color from annatto, just like Velveeta. Otherwise they would be the color of milk. Also, the name "process cheese food" has a pretty strict definition*:
    1. Ingredients - Natural cheese, color, salt and emulsifiers, along with optional ingredients such as skim milk, whey, milk, cream, albumin, skim milk cheese, and organic acids.
    2. Cooking Temp - 79.4-85.0 C
    3. Composition - Not more than 44% water or less than 23% fat.
    4. pH 5.2-5.6

    The natural cheeses used in process cheeses are not generally below grade quality or culls. Usually good quality cheese is needed, especially at the rate that Kraft makes Velveeta.

    *Taken from Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods by Frank V. Kosikowski and Vikram V. Mistry.
    When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!
  • Post #15 - March 27th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Post #15 - March 27th, 2006, 1:23 pm Post #15 - March 27th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Fujisan wrote:
    girlmoxie wrote:
    Someone told me once that Velveeta is clear before they add the food coloring. I have no way to prove this, but I've always believed it.


    Cheddar gets its yellow color from annatto, just like Velveeta. Otherwise they would be the color of milk. Also, the name "process cheese food" has a pretty strict definition*:
    1. Ingredients - Natural cheese, color, salt and emulsifiers, along with optional ingredients such as skim milk, whey, milk, cream, albumin, skim milk cheese, and organic acids.
    2. Cooking Temp - 79.4-85.0 C
    3. Composition - Not more than 44% water or less than 23% fat.
    4. pH 5.2-5.6

    The natural cheeses used in process cheeses are not generally below grade quality or culls. Usually good quality cheese is needed, especially at the rate that Kraft makes Velveeta.

    *Taken from Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods by Frank V. Kosikowski and Vikram V. Mistry.


    I used to work for a company that made processed cheeses. I started out helping cut the mold off of 55 gallon barrels of cheese and dumping it on to a conveyor. I was then moved to cooking cheese, which was much lighter work, but alos hotter. I remember getting the temperature a little hot and the cheese started to bubble and popped right out all over my arm, neck and cheek. That stuff sticks. No permanent damage done but it wasn't fun. I ended up packing the boxes of cheese. I'm sure glad I went to college and don'e have to work like that anymore.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #16 - March 27th, 2006, 4:55 pm
    Post #16 - March 27th, 2006, 4:55 pm Post #16 - March 27th, 2006, 4:55 pm
    Haven't seen this yet, but it is a staple from my in-laws' Polish American Berwynese neighbors. It's really addictive, in the bad way.

    Crumble and brown a couple of pounds of decent, "hot" pork breakfast sausage. I like Tennessee Pride. Drain meat and mix in a block of Velveeta. Smear the ragu onto mini rye slices and heat in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

    I wouldn't steer you wrong.
  • Post #17 - March 27th, 2006, 5:27 pm
    Post #17 - March 27th, 2006, 5:27 pm Post #17 - March 27th, 2006, 5:27 pm
    JeffB wrote:Crumble and brown a couple of pounds of decent, "hot" pork breakfast sausage. I like Tennessee Pride. Drain meat and mix in a block of Velveeta. Smear the ragu onto mini rye slices and heat in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.


    Ah, yes, "sausage dip." I was introduced to it while living in North Carolina.

    The mother of a girlfriend of mine made it regularly. It was always the hit of the party.

    Here's a version which incorporates Ro-Tel.

    And, here's an N.C.-style version which incorporates pimientos.

    E.M.
  • Post #18 - March 27th, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Post #18 - March 27th, 2006, 5:49 pm Post #18 - March 27th, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Of course, that reminds me - my husband's is pimento cheese (essentially cheez wiz in a jar with "pimento flavor")

    When I met him, he had only a giant-size brick of Velveeta and a bottle of ketchup in his fridge. I made him pork chops sauteed with apples, onions and Woodchuck Cider ...sometimes the just plain good vanquishes the guilty pleasure...
  • Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 7:51 pm
    Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 7:51 pm Post #19 - March 27th, 2006, 7:51 pm
    Bruce wrote:I used to work for a company that made processed cheeses. I started out helping cut the mold off of 55 gallon barrels of cheese and dumping it on to a conveyor. I was then moved to cooking cheese, which was much lighter work, but alos hotter. I remember getting the temperature a little hot and the cheese started to bubble and popped right out all over my arm, neck and cheek. That stuff sticks. No permanent damage done but it wasn't fun. I ended up packing the boxes of cheese. I'm sure glad I went to college and don'e have to work like that anymore.


    Wonderful image! But the question we need answered: Did you ever spit in the cheese cooking vat and, if so, what was the result?
    JiLS
  • Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm
    Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm Post #20 - March 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm
    Oh Mhays, you've just raised the most fearsome memories! Cheese in a jar! From long ago and far away I remember our family spreading pimento cheese from a jar on crackers; and bacon-flavored; and bleu cheese... Jeez, hadn't thought about this in years.

    But, tellingly enough, when I just now got the thought to look in my bourbon-drinking-glass cupboard, there was one of those pebbly-surfaced juice-glass size glasses! Probably the remnant of a weak moment a decade or so ago, when I snuck out to the local and bought a jar of pimento cheese. And, you know, you *can't* throw it away: with a couple of ice cubes it's the perfect size for a couple fingers of bourbon...

    Sigh.

    Tnx for the memories!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #21 - March 27th, 2006, 10:56 pm
    Post #21 - March 27th, 2006, 10:56 pm Post #21 - March 27th, 2006, 10:56 pm
    My mother's from the south and insists that pimento cheese is a huge snack down in the south. I didn't know until I was in high school that it was actually sold in jars in the store. My mom always made her own and the stuff in the jar is pretty bad.

    I have to own up to using velveeta in many a dip though.
  • Post #22 - March 31st, 2006, 9:46 pm
    Post #22 - March 31st, 2006, 9:46 pm Post #22 - March 31st, 2006, 9:46 pm
    waderoberts wrote:Frito-foot-stomping highly impresses particularly refined guests!

    It is admittedly full of sodium and preservatives and such, but highly picky health-obsessed acquaintances have raved about this dish.

    Thanks. I look forward to trying it!

    Here's the recipe for the "fondue" I mentioned, described accurately as "the ultimate '70s party food." When I was feeling "gourmet," I made it with dark beer.
  • Post #23 - May 18th, 2006, 6:28 pm
    Post #23 - May 18th, 2006, 6:28 pm Post #23 - May 18th, 2006, 6:28 pm
    waderoberts wrote:They're staples in my pantry. The Velveeta, melted with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, is the benchmark for Tex-Mex-style chile con queso.

    Wade,

    Not long ago I purchased my very first block of Velveeta, mixed some with a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes w/green chili and microwaved. I've read the recipe, if one can call two ingredients dumped in a bowl then microwaved a recipe, before, it's a regular on the BBQ lists, but was never tempted to make it for some odd reason.

    I have to say, somewhat embarrassingly, it has a certain allure, especially with Frito Scoop chips, though Velveeta gets odd fast when it cools. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - May 18th, 2006, 9:04 pm
    Post #24 - May 18th, 2006, 9:04 pm Post #24 - May 18th, 2006, 9:04 pm
    I'm in KC for a couple of days on business and vine-tending. My suitcase is very small, so I can only take a couple things back to Montreal. One is a block of Velveeta Hot Mexican. Sigh. Addiction wins, in the end.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #25 - May 19th, 2006, 2:47 am
    Post #25 - May 19th, 2006, 2:47 am Post #25 - May 19th, 2006, 2:47 am
    G Wiv wrote:Velveeta gets odd fast when it cools. :)

    That's why they invented fondue pots. :wink:
  • Post #26 - May 19th, 2006, 10:50 am
    Post #26 - May 19th, 2006, 10:50 am Post #26 - May 19th, 2006, 10:50 am
    While some might smirk in their provolone and chevre. the two cheese foods cited are required in two regional icon foods.

    Cheese grits in the South are supposed to be made with Velvetta. Often you will get cheese grits with the plastic wrapper just removed from the single slice of whatever, but the good stuff uses Velvetta.

    Philly cheese steaks can be served in Philly with other cheeses included really good provolone, but the true sandwich calls for a generous smear of Cheese Whiz.
  • Post #27 - May 19th, 2006, 3:49 pm
    Post #27 - May 19th, 2006, 3:49 pm Post #27 - May 19th, 2006, 3:49 pm
    I make my cheese grits using Velveeta Hot Mexican. Yee-hah. Sometimes I add a tiny bit of butter to raise the fat level. Just in case.

    It might be useful to point out that this concoction freezes remarkably well. I freeze individual custard cups, and wrap them in Saran Wrap. Ready anytime one needs that particular fix.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #28 - May 20th, 2006, 12:04 pm
    Post #28 - May 20th, 2006, 12:04 pm Post #28 - May 20th, 2006, 12:04 pm
    Velveeta is always in my pantry. It is the base for decadent mac and cheese. All other cheeses (cheddar, gouda, chevre, etc) get added to the basic velveeta cheese sauce (made with onions) then tossed with very al dente macaroni and cubes of good smoked ham. Put in a casserole, top with slices of ripe tomatoes and bake until golden. The underecooked pasta absorbs the sauce while baking and the ham and tomatoes are delicious. Viva Velveeta!
  • Post #29 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:08 pm
    Post #29 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:08 pm Post #29 - May 23rd, 2006, 3:08 pm
    The Tex-Mex variety (Velveeta and Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles). I confess to adding some Chihuahua cheese to thicken it a little this time.

    Image

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #30 - May 24th, 2006, 10:19 am
    Post #30 - May 24th, 2006, 10:19 am Post #30 - May 24th, 2006, 10:19 am
    Love Velveeta, but I can't stand its evil St. Louis twin, Provel.
    (It's the basis for St. Louis Pizza; a pure white Velveeta-like blend of cheddar, swiss and provelone that tops every Imo's and other homegrown pizza in that town and IMO tastes like crap. You can't buy it in other cities, thank goodness.)
    Image

    >>Brent
    Last edited by brotine on October 13th, 2009, 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Yankee bean soup, cole slaw and tuna surprise."

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