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Thread: Velveeta Alternative for Calabacitas Soup

  1. #1
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    Velveeta Alternative for Calabacitas Soup

    I am going to make a Calabacitas Soup (the recipe which I got off this board) and it calls for Velveeta and cream cheese. I have no Velveeta on hand and would really prefer to use regular cheese if there were some way to recreate the creamy texture and melting quality Velveeta provides.

    Any ideas?

    TIA
    Bonnie

  2. #2
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    What about a bernaise with some grated cheese added. I prefer bernaise to hollandaise as it's a bit more complex but I've not made the soup so don't really know if you need complex or simple...
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  3. #3
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    How about a queso blanco, it would probably be a better fit than a bernaise anyway. This one I found on cooking.com

    Queso Blanca Salsa
    Source: Café Pasqual's Cookbook
    Serves 6

    This white cheese salsa is essentially the chile con queso of Old Mexico, but made with ingredients north of the border.
    Other necessary recipes:
    Corn Cakes with Calabacitas and Queso Blanco Salsa


    RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    1 white onion, chopped
    5 Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    4 fresh mild green chiles such as New Mexico or Anaheim, roasted, seeded, peeled, and chopped (see note)
    1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and diced
    1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and diced
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup half and half
    1/2 pound cream cheese, cut into small pieces
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    RECIPE METHOD

    To prepare the salsa, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter sizzles, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chiles, red and yellow bell peppers, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Reduce the heat and add the half-and-half, stirring well. When heated through, add the cream cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese melts and the mixture is thick, about 12 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper and remove from the heat. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. (You may prepare the salsa up to 3 days in advance.)

    Just before serving, reheat the salsa by placing it in the top pan of a double broiler over gently simmering water; stir frequently to prevent scorching. Adjust to taste with cayenne pepper.

    NOTE: Canned green chiles may be used in place of the fresh; be sure to rinse them with water before adding to the salsa.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  4. #4
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    Are you opposed to the reduced-fat Velveeta? I hear Muenster also melts well. You could always use Cheez-Wiz in a can! (I used to love that on celery when I was kid).
    Red or green chile?

  5. #5
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    I was the original poster of the Calabacitas Soup (at least I think I am - there may be more than one soup floating on the boards ). I use the Velveeta for the soup because of its "meltability" - I'm not a big fan of Velveeta, but it works nicely in the soup. That said, you could try mozzarella or fontina, or some other good melting cheese. The flavor of cheddar would be great, but some don't melt well or turn grainy (it seems the sharper ones don't melt as well). Good luck!
    Cindi in KC

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. KCSoccer, thanks for reminding me that you were the one who had originally posted. It is a delicious soup and perfect to help me use up some of the bounty of zuchinni and summer squash I have.

    The Velveeta does work in this soup and very well. I also have used it in the CL Broccoli-Cheese Soup. I just prefer to use ingredients that are as unprocessed as possible and was hoping that there might be some alternative.

    The bernaise and queso blanco would probalby work, I just was trying to keep the recipe on the light side. Should have mentioned that earlier I guess.

    Guess I'll just stick with the Velveeta but thanks for all your input. It is GREATLY appreciated.

    Bonnie

    I

  7. #7
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    Talking

    I don't know how much cheese you need, but my idea would be substituting it with those laughing cow squares, have you had them before??
    I have used them in all sorts of recipes that call for cheddar, or even cream cheese (I also am not fan on velveta). They melt beautifuly and are a lot more flavorful in my opinion. I love those little cheeses, soooo creamy!
    Ana

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    I've made this soup with cheddar and thought it was delicious. It seemed to melt fine. It may not have had as creamy a texture as if I had used Velveeta, but I don't know for sure because I've never had Velveeta

    Thanks for reminding me of this recipe, now that it's zucchini and corn season again!

    Natasha
    "If you're not chasing after miracles, what's the point?" The movie Saint Ralph

    "What it all comes down to
    Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
    I've got one hand in my pocket
    And the other one is giving a high five" - Alanis Morisette, Hand in My Pocket

  9. #9
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    I know it's too late to offer suggestions this time, but there have got to be some Mexican cheeses that would work in this recipe. Velveeta can't have been an original ingredient; it was probably a substitution for a Mexican cheese since it used to be hard to find Mexican cheeses in the US. Queso blanco would be an obvious choice, like sneezles said. Or any other one used for melting would work. I think Monterey Jack would work too--I've used that in a pinch in Mexican recipes before.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
    --Julia Child

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