Quick, someone grab tacks and a hammer and let’s staple down the month of June. How dare it whip by me so dog gone fast! ? ! ? Next time I nod it will be Labor Day weekend the way this calendar is chugging past.
The column is dedicated to all those die-hard nachos & cheese lovers. Did you know the St. Louis Cardinal Stadium sells more nachos and cheese than any other Major League baseball team? Pretty popular snack considering they’re actually eating processed cheese food that comes out of a can. It’s ok to throw chance to the wind and eat this ‘stuff’ once in a blue moon but I don’t recommend making it a habit.
- Most shredded cheese contains cellulose powder to keep the cheese from
sticking together. It has some taste, but you won’t notice it until you wean yourself away from the product.
- Most pre-sliced, individually wrapped cheeses are ‘cheese food’ not real cheese. Be sure and read the label before purchasing for your family. I usually purchase cheese from the deli or the pre-sliced with paper between the slices. Or buy chunk cheese and prepare it as you desire.
- There are times when you’re having tacos that shredded packaged cheese is still the best option. Fresh shredded likes to gum up too much.
Queso Dip is truly a white cheese dip/sauce not yellow. One reason for the yellow is possibly the fact that American and Velveeta melt so nicely. What you put inside the dip is all personal choice. If your garden is producing fresh peppers or green onions these would be an excellent choice instead of sweet white onion. Sometimes my family likes the dip served with fried sausage or even corn!
You will notice the dip is prepared over a double boiler. This is so much better than using a microwave. If you place this spread inside a crockpot be sure and use a liner as the clean-up is a pain. (I wish they would start making small crock-pot liners for this very purpose.)
You could also reach for a regular can of rotel which allows you the option of regulating the ‘heat’ a bit more. Start the sauce early in the double boiler as a full batch can take 45 minutes to become smooth. The last time I made Queso I couldn’t get a few little pieces to melt down. Never fear….submersible blender to the rescue, it works out great for little issues like this.
The cheese product ‘Velveeta’ was created back in the 1930’s and is truly a staple in many homes. I have a box on my shelf, but remember it is still ‘cheese food’. On the flip side there are times when I adore using Velveeta because of its smooth melt. For many years the only way I knew to make grilled cheese was with Velveeta! I think my true thought is to use it wisely and not every week. Take the time to study the difference between the cheese product and real cheese. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. Thecovereddish.com
1/2 pound White American Cheese
1/2 pound Pepper Jack Cheese
1 can diced green chilies (2-3 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely grated sweet onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup half and half cream
Optional: cilantro, fresh peppers, crumbled fried and drained sausage.
Place all ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat or in a crock pot and cook until all ingredients are melted. Stir to blend occasionally.