cheesy

velveetaFor a late-night gathering tonight, I’ll be making (among other things) this seemingly vile but confoundingly delicious hot dip, which consists of a block of gummy processed cheese food pasteurized prepared cheese product microwaved in a pool of jarred salsa, served with tortilla chips.

I know, I know! But it’s surprisingly tasty, though my brain protests up until the moment I start shoveling it into my mouth. My mouth is the boss.

I looked up the recipe not to refresh my memory, but to show a friend, and in doing so, I noticed that Kraft Foods graciously accommodates the appetites of health-conscious readers:

Healthy Living
Save 20 calories and 2.5 g of fat per serving by preparing with VELVEETA Made With 2% Milk Reduced Fat Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product.

Dear Velveeta,
This word “healthy”? I think you’re using it wrong.

Thanks for the pasteurized prepared cheese product; it’s awesome.

Love,
Elsa

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Delusions of foodblogging: yogurt cheese

I am thankful that my grocery store has started providing plain lowfat organic yogurt in the massive tubs. Until now, I have had to buy on massive tub of full-fat yogurt and one massive tub of nonfat yogurt and mixed them. No onerous task, I admit, but it did leave me with an immense vat of yogurt. Sixty-four ounces of yogurt is too much yogurt for a single woman, Yoplait ads suggesting our limitless capacity for the stuff notwithstanding!

Hmm. Where were we? Yogurt cheese! I used to set up a precarious and messy arrangement of seive, cheesecloth (or coffee filter or paper towel), glass bowl, and cling film, then try to empty a large space in the fridge for this unwieldy assembly. No more! I liberally pierced the bottom of a large yogurt tub, which fits snugly in an unperforated tub, leaving a reservoir for the whey to drain into, and one lid seals the whole container. It is compact, easy to clean, and free. I suspect that you could do away with the cheesecloth (or filter or paper towel) if the holes were fine enough, but I still use a filter just in case.

I like to mix salt, lemon juice and rind, pepper, garlic, and herbs into a bit of the finished yogurt cheese and treat it like Boursin: serve it with croustades, crudites, or in sandwiches. Whipped light with extra lemon juice or even milk, it makes a nice binder for egg salad, or a creamy salad dressing, especially for spinach or arugala. I have yet to follow the example of Alton Brown in using yogurt cheese as the base for frozen yogurt. I dot have an ice cream maker, but Monkey knows a way around that!