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Old 16 October 2012, 07:09 PM
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Default Stupid food questions

I think we need one of these. I know I have plenty of stupid food-related questions. I know (hope!) I'm not alone.

Here's my first one: I know beef stroganoff is usually done with sirloin, but I have some top round in the freezer. Would top round be too tough? I use it for chicken fried and swiss steak, but not sure how it'd work in the stroganoff.
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  #2  
Old 17 October 2012, 04:36 AM
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I'd only use it with a long, slow cooking method like a crock pot.
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Old 17 October 2012, 06:03 AM
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I think it would be OK (not the best, but OK) if you slice it wafer thin. To be able to slice it really thin you can use a very sharp knife and slice it while it's still mostly frozen.
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  #4  
Old 17 October 2012, 11:15 AM
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How do I go about properly using and storing a large chunk of Velveeta? I never imagined I could do so much much wrong in so little time with an imitation cheese product.

I've fallen in love with their prepackaged instant mashed potatoes: it's a bag of flakes with flavoring powders, and then a small foil pouch of Velveeta you mix in after it's cooked. Unfortunately at just under $2 for a small box it's considerably more expensive than buying just the potato flakes and seasoning. I figured I could beat them at their own game by purchasing a large off-brand box of instant mashed potatoes along with a block of straight up Velveeta and mixing the later in after the former was done cooking. Just as tasty for about half the cost - and even I, horrible at all things cooking, should have been able to handle instant potatoes and fake cheese. Should have.

The cheese that had been coming in the prepackaged boxes had a viscosity somewhere between thick maple syrup and gel toothpaste. It was spot on for squeezing out and then mixing into my food, and since it was Velveeta name brand (original flavor) I figured the stuff I bought in a brick would be about the same. However, when it came time to whip up my first bowl of potatoes I had trouble right off the bat. The rectangular mass was housed in a cardboard box and sealed in a paper thin sheet of aluminum-backed paper that reminded me of the stuff candy bars are packaged in. I took as much care as I could in prying it out of the box and unwrapping one end, but managed to tear the foil right down the middle. I figured I would deal with it after I scooped out what I would be mixing into my food, but even that proved to put up more of a fight than fake food should be able to muster. Instead of being creamy and smooth, the log of Velveeta was firmer, almost crumbly, like a really cheap, moist Cheddar. It slopped all over when I tried to cut it with a knife (too soft) or scoop it out with a spoon (too firm) and eventually managed to just scrape some out in with a fork, making a total mess. Of course, it didn't want to mix into my potatoes either, being far closer to cheese than to cheese spread in consistency. In the end I wrapped the end of the Velveeta in the shredded remains of it's paper foil, gave it a second layer of aluminum foil for good measure, and entombed it back into it's cardboard box. I am a fairly average, grown woman who was completely and totally bested by a block of imitation cheese. Where did I go wrong in life?
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  #5  
Old 17 October 2012, 11:21 AM
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Store it in the fridge. Use it in cooking like you would normal cheese. One quick, easy way to use up a good chunk of it: Toss half that brick in a crock pot with a bag of beans, a couple cans of diced tomatoes with chilies, two packs of taco seasoning, and a couple cans of corn, juice and all. Fill the rest of the crock pot about half full with water, and cook until the beans are done (about all day on low). You can also add ground, browned meat. We call this cheesy taco soup. You'll want to break the Velveeta up and stir it a few times while it's cooking.
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  #6  
Old 17 October 2012, 11:26 AM
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Kallah, that made me literally laugh out loudly.

I'm not laughing at you, of corse, but with you! And I'm trying to offer what advice I have:

1. The cheese (-like mass) should be freezable - cut it into pieces, put into zip-lock bags, and deepfreeze.
2. For mixing it with the mashed potatoes, try a cheese grater.
3. ???
4. Profit!
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  #7  
Old 17 October 2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
We call this cheesy taco soup. You'll want to break the Velveeta up and stir it a few times while it's cooking.
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That sounds so fantastic. I might just write the whole mashed potato thing off as a loss and break out the slow cooker instead!

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Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
Kallah, that made me literally laugh out loudly
By the time I got around to eating, washing the dishes, and writing up the post I realized that, all things considered, it was more amusing than annoying. If it had happened to one of my friends and not myself, it would have been hilarious .
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  #8  
Old 17 October 2012, 02:34 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
How do I go about properly using and storing a large chunk of Velveeta? I never imagined I could do so much much wrong in so little time with an imitation cheese product.

I am a fairly average, grown woman who was completely and totally bested by a block of imitation cheese. Where did I go wrong in life?
A Wisconsin woman using imitation cheese! For shame.

Velveeta and its imitators is useful for melting very well, but it still takes some time. Melt it first (you can microwave it with several one minute zaps, allowing a little time between each zap for the heat to distribute - the very high water content makes it more microwaveable than some cheeses. Of course, in a saucepan on gentle heat also works), then stir the potatoes into the cheese. I think you'll do better putting the potatoes into the cheese than vice versa. Or maybe put the boiling water and butter/margarine into the serving bowl, then the molten Velveeta, and then the potato flakes, and stir it up.

As for storage, yeah, the wrapper it comes in is a PITA. I would recommend plastic wrap after opening, as it will cling and provide an airtight enclosure, keeping the Velveeta from drying out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
Store it in the fridge. Use it in cooking like you would normal cheese. One quick, easy way to use up a good chunk of it: Toss half that brick in a crock pot with a bag of beans, a couple cans of diced tomatoes with chilies, two packs of taco seasoning, and a couple cans of corn, juice and all. Fill the rest of the crock pot about half full with water, and cook until the beans are done (about all day on low). You can also add ground, browned meat. We call this cheesy taco soup. You'll want to break the Velveeta up and stir it a few times while it's cooking.
Second that - I have had it with canned beans instead and it is ready when the cheese is blended through. Very good and quick that way, but your version is excellent for a crockpot meal to put on in the morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
1. The cheese (-like mass) should be freezable - cut it into pieces, put into zip-lock bags, and deepfreeze.
2. For mixing it with the mashed potatoes, try a cheese grater.
Having grated Velveeta - and imitation Velveeta - before, I can safely say that if you value your knuckles, you will not try to grate the stuff in its normal state. Frozen might allow it, but I am pretty sure it would be like trying to grate limestone.

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 17 October 2012 at 02:43 PM.
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  #9  
Old 17 October 2012, 02:42 PM
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It is possible to buy plastic Tupperware-type containers designed for storing blocks of Velveeta.
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  #10  
Old 17 October 2012, 02:48 PM
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Another way to use up the Velveeta - just mix some cubes into a microwave-safe bowl of salsa, then nuke until melted and combined. Ta-da! Fakeo-queso.
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  #11  
Old 17 October 2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granola shoes View Post
Another way to use up the Velveeta - just mix some cubes into a microwave-safe bowl of salsa, then nuke until melted and combined. Ta-da! Fakeo-queso.
We use a can of Ro-tel instead of salsa--oh so good. And if you want amped up queso do this--I can of rotel, one can of hormel chili (no beans), one can of refried beans, and a block of velveeta.
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  #12  
Old 17 October 2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgaine View Post
I'd only use it with a long, slow cooking method like a crock pot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I think it would be OK (not the best, but OK) if you slice it wafer thin. To be able to slice it really thin you can use a very sharp knife and slice it while it's still mostly frozen.
Thanks! I should have mentioned I have a tenderizer, a needling device, so I'll tenderize it a bit first.
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  #13  
Old 17 October 2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagurit View Post
I think we need one of these. I know I have plenty of stupid food-related questions. I know (hope!) I'm not alone.

Here's my first one: I know beef stroganoff is usually done with sirloin, but I have some top round in the freezer. Would top round be too tough? I use it for chicken fried and swiss steak, but not sure how it'd work in the stroganoff.
It is not going to be as tender, but it should be okay. On the flip side, have you ever used a top sirloin or a rib eye to make chicken fried steak? It will take your CFS to the next level!
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  #14  
Old 17 October 2012, 05:23 PM
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I thought I was doing well to use TOP round, CenTex. Then, I'm a northernah. What do I know? I bet I didn't even spell northernah right.
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  #15  
Old 17 October 2012, 05:26 PM
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Nope. It's spelled y-a-n-k-e-e
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  #16  
Old 17 October 2012, 06:25 PM
CenTex CenTex is offline
 
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Let the record show that I did not use the "Y" word!

Also, if you will put a little bit of sugar in your flour, it will help them brown up nicely.
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  #17  
Old 17 October 2012, 06:33 PM
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Oy. I put a little sugar in the gravy. Put it in the flour too?

I see you, Lainie.
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  #18  
Old 17 October 2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
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Oy. I put a little sugar in the gravy. Put it in the flour too?
For southern-style cooking, put sugar in EVERYTHING, as much as it can hold.
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Old 17 October 2012, 06:52 PM
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Kallah, instead of velveeta, maybe try Cheez Whiz?
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  #20  
Old 17 October 2012, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagurit View Post
Oy. I put a little sugar in the gravy. Put it in the flour too?

I see you, Lainie.
I don't usually put it in the gravy. I just put a little in the flour.
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