Friday, October 22, 2010

Homemade Velveeta

Are you serious?

We are.  Our official policy is that there is no law against consenting adults making Velveeta in the privacy of their own homes.  

Yes, it's embarrassing, but the truth is that sometimes you want macaroni made with Velveeta, the way your mother made it.  You're not alone and we're here to help you.

Really, the only problem with store-bought Velveeta is that it isn't actually "food."  You don't need to refrigerate it until it's opened and then the shelf life is 6 months.  When we were kids, we thought it was cheese, but now we know it's a "pasteurized prepared cheese product."  Ah, to be young again . . .

Suzanne McMinn, who has a great website- "Chickens in the Road" came up with a recipe for homemade Velveeta because she says her kids like it.  (We believe her, and we know that she herself prefers to eat only high quality artisan cheeses!)

We recently did an article about Suzanne because we are challenging her to learn how to make a new "hard" cheese every month for the rest of her life (more or less).   We will be featuring her in our monthly Moosletter, starting in November.

Suzanne's original article is much more entertaining than this one.  That might be why her website is so popular.  But you're here now, so check this out:

Suzanne's Homemade Velveeta

Part I.  How to make Lactic Cheese:

1 gallon milk-pasteurized or raw (but not ultra-pasteurized)
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter (C101)
3 drops liquid rennet dissolved in 1/3 cup cool water

Heat the milk to 86F. Turn off the heat. Add the mesophilic starter and mix thoroughly. Add one teaspoon of the diluted rennet and stir with an up-and-down motion. Put the lid on the pot and let it sit for 12 hours. I usually do this at night before I go to bed then I take care of the cheese the next morning. Or afternoon. Sometimes I let it sit several hours longer than the recommended 12 hours just because I'm busy. This cheese is forgiving of my neglect. I love that in a cheese. As this is a high-yield recipe, the pot will be almost all curd with very little whey. I use a big slotted spoon to scoop the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth and hang to drain for 12 hours. This recipe yields two pounds of cheese.
Part II.  How to make Homemade Velveeta:

One recipe lactic cheese, drained
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons salt*
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sweet light cream (optional-it works better for me without it)
cheese coloring (optional)
*Adjust salt to taste, more or less.
When using my lactic cheese recipe with starter above, this will yield two pounds of homemade Velveeta.
In a large bowl, mix baking soda and salt into the cheese curds. BEAT WITH AN ELECTRIC MIXER. Yes, really.

Let sit for 30 minutes. The cheese will be light and airy after the baking soda is mixed in. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the cream (if using), stirring to combine. I use a big stir-fry (wok) pan.

Add the cheese and stir to combine with the butter and cream. Melt on low heat. Add cheese coloring, if you like, while the cheese is melting. If you choose to add coloring, add as much as you like until it looks how you want it to look. You can use the cheese white, if you prefer. I used about a dozen liquid cheese coloring drops to make it look like Velveeta.

In about three minutes, you should have a beautiful, smooth cheese ready to go into whatever you want to use as a mold-or just scoop into plastic tubs. If you use a mold where you can take the cheese out easily, you can slice it.
Of course, once you have made your own Velveeta, there is a whole world of recipes available to you.  One of the most popular is Velveeta Fudge.  (One website refers to this as Trailer Truffles.)  Now, we have no excuse for this- it's just not healthy food.  In fact, if you have any self-respect at all, you will cover your eyes and click away from here now.

Velveeta Cheese Fudge
We adapted this from an e-How recipe-
2 pounds of confectioners sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 sticks of margarine
1/2 lb of Velveeta Cheese
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped
9 X 9 inch cake pan

Thoroughly sift together the powdered sugar and the cocoa. Set to the side for later. Sift it many times. If you don't, it will cause lumps in the fudge.

Melt the margarine and Velveeta cheese in a 2 quart heavy pan. Don't turn the heat too high. Medium low is a good setting. Keep an eye on it.

Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the vanilla extract, nuts and the sugar and coca mixture.

Pour into the 9 X 9 cake pan.

Allow it to cool and set. Then cut it into small squares and serve.


The Japanese Redneck said...

You've added a great resource by getting Suzanne on your site.

Since I recently started reading her blog, she has become one of my favorites bloggers. I even been working my way thru all her past posts.

She has a fantastic writing skill, very talented and creative.

shannon i olson said...

OH this is too much fun, can't wait to try it!!

ThermomixBlogger Helene said...

I look forward to trying this in the Thermomix... might have to modify quantities just a bit, but should work just fine. Thanks!

Susan said...

I've been following Suzanne and Chickens in the Road for years. It is full of funny and useful information. Can't wait to try this recipe at home. Would love to come to your cheese school, too. So much to do and so little time!!!


gld said...

I am a loyal follower of Suzanne and her adventures on her farm in West Virginia through her blog Chickens in the Road.

Looks like she has another hit recipe here!

shannonstoney said...

I'm imagining goat Velveeta...

Joan Parreno said...

Here's a site for a similar recipe I'll be trying soon. It goes from raw, clabbering milk, straight from the cow, right through to velveeta. You can even ripen it if you want to.

Jeri said...

Thanks, Joan. You seem to have a lot of good sources.

hixinthestix said...

I just made this velveeta and love it. I am wondering what the best way to store this for future use would be. Can it be frozen? I also have a heat seal machine. I have lots of milk right now and would like to store this cheese for winter use.

Jeri said...

As far as I know, you can freeze it, heat seal it and even can it in bottles. Happy cheese making!