Ya’ll know of my love of Velveeta, even though it’s not really cheese. It’s a thing unto itself and there is slap nothing better than a dip made of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and Velveeta. Add cooked crumbled up sausage and you will just lose your mind.
So Sunday, Mark and I went to get some fancy coffee at Barnes and Noble and when I walked through the door where all the bargain books are, it was there. Lookee, lookee. A Velveeta cookbook! How could I pass up a cookbook based entirely on processed cheese product? I could not. It was only $7.98 and with my Barnes and Noble discount, the total came to under seven bucks. Never pay retail, but ya’ll already knew that.
The melting quality of Velveeta is unsurpassed and I am convinced makes it the secret guilty pleasure of the most sophisticated gourmand. So I rushed home to see what recipes the Velveeta producers had come up with that I hadn’t already tried. Of course there are a variety of dips – Velveeta Bacon and Green Onion Dip, Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip and Cheesy Pizza Dip. Moving on to “crowd-pleasing entrees” we have Velveeta Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese, Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake and Velveeta BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Mac. I am just noticing that either Velveeta or Cheesy is in every recipe title. I want that job – naming Velveeta recipes. Of course, none of this is remotely healthy. Let’s take a look at the vegetable section: Cheesy Chipotle Vegetable Bake, Cheesy Potato Skins and Easy Cheesy Potatoes (oh, look, they made a rhyme!).
So I am thinking for supper one night, I’ll make the Cheesy Pizza Dip, the Velveeta BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Mac and the Easy Cheesy Potatoes. Do you think that’s overkill?
Now then, even before my discovery of the Velveeta cookbook, I had a 16-ounce block of Velveeta in the pantry that is due to expire in April and so I was desperately thinking of ways to use it up. So here is a recipe not in the Velveeta cookbook that turned out to be pretty darn tasty.
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces Velveeta
Dash hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bread
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked
Make a white sauce by combining flour and butter in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat and whisk until butter is melted and the flour has lost its raw taste, about two minutes. Add the milk and whisk until thickened. Add the hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Add the Velveeta and stir to melt. Set aside.
Toast the bread. Top with the sliced chicken. Spoon the cheese sauce over the chicken and top that with the bacon.
Note: Hot Browns are supposed to have tomatoes, but I never, ever use tomatoes from the supermarket because, first, they taste bad and, second, they are produced by what amounts to slave labor in Florida. So no fresh tomatoes for me until summer.
Second note: The bacon on my hot browns was produced by my new favorite boyfriend, Ralph Cole of West Wind Farms. It is sublimely lean bacon, if there can be such a thing. The Coles sell at the Franklin Farmer’s Market every Saturday so if you can get over there, stop by and support Ralph’s sustainable farming efforts.