Velveeta Queso and Velveeta Fudge

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Yesterday, I wasted a lot of minutes in the grocery store searching for Velveeta cheese product in the refrigerated section. Silly me! Velveeta doesn't need to be refrigerated. It's located on the shelf with crackers and ketchup and other products with a shelf-life of three years and counting.

There are a whole host of dishes to make with this indestructible ingredient. Here's a tasty recipe for Velveeta queso and a not-so-tasty recipe for Velveeta fudge (have you ever heard of such a thing?).


Velveeta Queso:

I have to admit that the obnoxious jingle is correct: Velveeta really does melt better than cheddar. Even the reputable Saveur Magazine says so. Therefore, I only use Velveeta when making queso and other tasty cheese dips. The recipe below is a true winner. Every time I've made it for a party, it's gone within minutes.

Chile Con Queso (Cheese Dip), adapted from Saveur Magazine

Ingredients

1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles

2 tablespoons beer

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 lb Velveeta cheese, diced

1/4 cup sliced scallions or red onion

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno or fresh chile, seeded and chopped

1/2 lime

Combine first seven ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes). Add cheese and whisk until melted. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and top with remaining ingredients and juice from lime. Serves 6.


Velveeta Fudge:

If only this recipe for fudge was as successful as the one for queso. I first heard about using Velveeta to make fudge on CafeMom. I was intrigued, and so I tried it myself—with disastrous results. It was sickeningly sweet with a subtle taste of cheese product. I'd show you the photo if it wasn't so vile. In fact, it was quite possibly the worst thing I ate in 2008. Given the fact that this recipe is apparently quite popular, I'm wondering if my cooking skills are more to blame than the actual recipe. Nevertheless, here it is. I'm anxious to know: Have you tried it?

Velveeta Fudge from Southern Food

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

8 ounces pasteurized process cheese, Velveeta, cubed

1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, about 5 cups unsifted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup non-fat dry milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

In a large saucepan over medium heat butter and cheese cubes together, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Sift together confectioners' sugar and cocoa; add to cheese, mixing well. Stir in non-fat dry milk, vanilla and nuts. Turn into a 9x9x2-inch pan; chill until firm and cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds of Velveeta Fudge.


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